Leaving unemploymentReturning to work is more difficult for older people
On average, in 2016, three million people aged from 15 to 64 are unemployed in France, i.e. 10.1% of the labour force. During the course of the year, more than half of those unemployed in any given quarter (58.5%) are still unemployed in the following quarter, while 20.6% are in work and 20.9% are inactive; most of the latter are in the “unemployment halo”.
Unemployed people who return to work are more likely than other workers to be in fixed-term contracts (72.6% vs. 13.1%) or to be under-employed (22.9% vs. 6.5%). In addition, a larger proportion of them would like to change jobs (25.7% vs. 8.9%), in most cases because they are afraid of losing their job or because they wish to secure more stable employment.
Almost two thirds of unemployed people who have previous work experience and have found another job are employed in a socio-professional category which, on average, is at least as well paid as their previous one.
Young workers are at much greater risk of unemployment than their elders. However, when they are unemployed, they take less time to find a new job: 25.8% of young jobseekers find new employment within three months, compared with 12.9% of those aged 50 to 64. While older workers are in general less likely to be in fixed-term contracts or under-employed, the opposite is true when they return to the workforce after a period of unemployment.