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The unemployment rate decreased by 0.7 points in Q4 2017ILO Unemployment and Labour Market-related indicators (Labour Force Survey results) - fourth quarter 2017

On average in Q4 2017, the average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) stood at 8.9% of the labour force, its lowest level since early 2009. It decreased by 0.7 percentage points quarter-on-quarter, after having increased by 0.2 points in Q3 2017. Over a year, the unemployment rate fell by 1.1 points, its largest decreased since Q1 2008.

In metropolitan France, the number of unemployed decreased by 205,000 to 2.5 million people; thus, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.7 percentage points compared to Q3 2017, standing at 8.6% of the labour force. The employment rate increased by 0.6 points and the activity rate was almost stable. The unemployment rate decreased across all age groups, particularly among youths and persons aged 25 to 49.

Informations rapides N° 38
No 38
Principaux indicateurs
Paru le : 15/02/2018
Prochaine parution le : 14/02/2019 at 07:30 - fourth quarter 2018

The unemployment rate in France decreased by 0.7 points at 8.9% of active population in Q4 2017

On average in Q4 2017, the average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) stood at 8.9% of the labour force, its lowest level since early 2009. It decreased by 0.7 percentage points quarter-on-quarter, after having increased by 0.2 points in Q3 2017. Over a year, the unemployment rate fell by 1.1 points, its largest decreased since Q1 2008.

In metropolitan France, the number of unemployed decreased by 205,000 to 2.5 million people; thus, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.7 percentage points compared to Q3 2017, standing at 8.6% of the labour force. The employment rate increased by 0.6 points and the activity rate was almost stable. The unemployment rate decreased across all age groups, particularly among youths and persons aged 25 to 49.

Long-term unemployment fell sharply

Among the unemployed, 1.1 million declared that they had been seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate stood at 3.6% of the labour force in Q4 2017. It decreased by 0.6 percentage points q-o-q and by 0.7 percentage points over a year.

Graph1 – ILO-unemployment rate

  • Estimation within +/-0.3 point of the level of unemployment rate and of its quarterly variations
  • Scope: population of people living in households, people aged 15 years or more
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

Table1 – ILO-unemployment rate in metropolitan France

Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter
ILO-unemployment rate in metropolitan France
ILO-unemployment rate (%) Variation in points Thousands
2017Q3 2017Q4 (p) over quarter over year 2017Q4 (p)
Unemployed persons 9.3 8.6 –0.7 –1.1 2,502
15-24 years 21.7 20.7 –1.0 –2.8 567
25-49 years 8.9 8.0 –0.9 –1.1 1,407
50 years and more 6.4 6.1 –0.3 –0.5 529
Men 9.4 8.8 –0.6 –1.1 1,332
15-24 years 22.9 21.4 –1.5 –2.9 323
25-49 years 8.4 7.8 –0.6 –1.1 721
50 years and more 6.9 6.6 –0.3 –0.5 288
Women 9.2 8.4 –0.8 –1.1 1,170
15-24 years 20.2 19.7 –0.5 –2.8 244
25-49 years 9.4 8.1 –1.3 –1.2 686
50 years and more 5.8 5.7 –0.1 –0.4 240
Long-term unemployed persons 4.2 3.6 –0.6 –0.7 1,056
  • (p) = provisional results
  • Scope : population of people living in households, people aged 15 years or more in metropolitan France
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

In metropolitan France, among inactive people as defined by the ILO, 1.5 million persons wished to work without being considered as unemployed according to the ILO definition: they made up the halo of unemployment. After a fall of 65 000 in Q3 2017, their number rose by 77,000 in Q4 2017 and was almost steady year-on-year (+12,000).

Graph2 – People in the halo of unemployment

  • Scope: population of people living in households in metropolitan France, people aged 15 years or over
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

The employment rate increased by 0.6 percentage points compared to Q3 2017

The employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years stood at 65.7%, its highest level since the early 1980s. It increased by 0.6 percentage points compared Q3 2017, and by 1.0 percentage points y-o-y. It increased across all age groups, particularly among youths and persons aged 50 to 64.

The full-time equivalent employment rate stood at 60.9% in Q4 2017. It rose by 0.6 percentage points q-o-q, and by 1.1 percentage points over a year.

Full-time employment rate stood at 53.9% in Q4 2017. It increased by 0.7 percentage points compared to Q3 2017, and by 1.0 percentage points over a year. Part-time employment rate stood at 11.8%, a ratio close to its Q3 2017 (−0.1 points) and Q4 2016 level (+0.1 points).

Permanent employment rate for people aged 15 to 64 increased by 0.2 percentage points to 49.1% in Q4 2017. It rose by 0.5 percentage points over a year. Fixed-term and temporary employment rate stood at 8.1%. It rose by 0.3 percentage points quarter-on-quarter and by 0.6 percentage points compared to Q4 2016.

Table2 – ILO employment rate in the population aged 15-64 years

Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter
ILO employment rate in the population aged 15-64 years
% of people in the age group Variation in points over
2017Q3 2017Q4 (p) quarter year
Employed people 65.1 65.7 0.6 1.0
Men 68.8 69.3 0.5 1.2
Women 61.5 62.3 0.8 1.0
15-24 years 29.1 29.8 0.7 1.4
25-49 years 80.6 81.0 0.4 0.9
50-64 years 61.3 62.2 0.9 1.4
Included : 55-64 years 51.1 52.2 1.1 1.9
Permanent employment 48.9 49.1 0.2 0.5
Fixed-term and temporary employment 7.8 8.1 0.3 0.6
Full-time employment 53.2 53.9 0.7 1.0
Part-time employment 11.9 11.8 –0.1 0.1
Full-time equivalent employment rate 60.3 60.9 0.6 1.1
  • (p) = provisional results
  • Scope: population of people living in households in metropolitan France, people aged 15-64 years
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

Graph3 – Employment rate by age group

  • Scope: population of people living in households in metropolitan France, people aged 15-64 years
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

Underemployment decreased

In Q4 2017, 5.6% of the employed persons were underemployed, which mainly concerns people who have a part-time job and wish to work more. This ratio decreased by 0.5 percentage points compared to Q3 2017, and by 0.6 percentage points year on year.

The activity rate was almost steady in Q4 2017

The activity rate of people aged 15-64 stood at 72.0% in Q4 2017, slightly above its Q3 2017 level (+0.1 percentage points). It increased by 0.3 percentage points compared to Q4 2016.

Table3 – ILO activity rate in the population aged 15-64 years

Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter
ILO activity rate in the population aged 15-64 years
% of people in the age group Variation in points over
2017Q3 2017Q4 (p) quarter year
Active people 71.9 72.0 0.1 0.3
Men 76.1 76.1 0.0 0.4
Women 67.8 68.0 0.2 0.2
15-24 years 37.1 37.6 0.5 0.5
25-49 years 88.4 88.0 –0.4 –0.1
50-64 years 65.6 66.4 0.8 1.2
Included : 55-64 years 54.6 55.7 1.1 1.6
  • (p) = provisional results
  • Scope: population of people living in households in metropolitan France, people aged 15-64 years
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

Revisions

The ILO unemployment rate in Q2 and Q3 2017 has been downgraded by 0.1 percentage points compared to the provisional estimate published on 16 November 2017. From next release, results of the Labour Force Survey will not include those of the survey of non-respondents (see Abbreviated Methodology).