13 February 2020
N° 2020-36

The unemployment rate fell from 8.5 % to 8.1 % in Q4 2019ILO Unemployment and Labour Market-related indicators (Labour Force Survey results) - fourth quarter 2019

The number of unemployed decreased by 85,000 over a quarter to 2.4 million people. Thus the ILO unemployment rate sharply declined : after a slight 0.1 point increase in the previous quarter, it fell from 8,5 % to 8,1 % of the labour force in France (excluding Mayotte). It was 0.7 points below its Q4 2018 level and reached its lowest level since the end of 2008. In metropolitan France, it stood at 7.9 %.

The unemployment rate diminished significantly among persons aged 25 to 49 (–0.5 points) and those aged 50 and over (–0.5 points). Within the former age group, it fell more sharly among women (–0,7 points) than among men (–0.3 points). However, the unemployment rate increased among youths (+0.7 points), especially young women (+1.1 points).

Over a year, the decline in the unemployment rate was more pronounced among women (–0.8 points) than men (–0.4 points).

Informations rapides
No 36
Paru le : Paru le 13/02/2020
Prochaine parution le : 14/05/2020 at 07:30 - first quarter 2020
Informations rapides  No 36 - February 2020

The unemployment rate in France stood at 8.1% of active population in Q4 2019, a 0.7 points decrease over a year

The number of unemployed decreased by 85,000 over a quarter to 2.4 million people. Thus the ILO unemployment rate sharply declined : after a slight 0.1 point increase in the previous quarter, it fell from 8,5 % to 8,1 % of the labour force in France (excluding Mayotte). It was 0.7 points below its Q4 2018 level and reached its lowest level since the end of 2008. In metropolitan France, it stood at 7.9 %.

The unemployment rate diminished significantly among persons aged 25 to 49 (–0.5 points) and those aged 50 and over (–0.5 points). Within the former age group, it fell more sharly among women (–0,7 points) than among men (–0.3 points). However, the unemployment rate increased among youths (+0.7 points), especially young women (+1.1 points).

Over a year, the decline in the unemployment rate was more pronounced among women (–0.8 points) than men (–0.4 points).

Long-term unemployment decreased by 0.2 points over the quarter

Among the unemployed, 1,0 million declared that they had been seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate stood at 3.2% of the labour force in Q4 2019. It decreased by 0.2 points over a quarter and 0,4 points over a year.

ILO-unemployment rate

ILO-unemployment rate
France (excl. Mayotte) Metropolitan France
2003-Q1 8.4 8.0
2003-Q2 8.5 8.1
2003-Q3 8.4 8.0
2003-Q4 8.8 8.4
2004-Q1 9.0 8.6
2004-Q2 8.8 8.4
2004-Q3 8.9 8.5
2004-Q4 8.9 8.5
2005-Q1 8.6 8.3
2005-Q2 8.8 8.4
2005-Q3 9.0 8.6
2005-Q4 9.0 8.7
2006-Q1 9.1 8.8
2006-Q2 9.0 8.6
2006-Q3 8.9 8.5
2006-Q4 8.4 8.0
2007-Q1 8.5 8.1
2007-Q2 8.1 7.8
2007-Q3 8.0 7.6
2007-Q4 7.5 7.1
2008-Q1 7.2 6.8
2008-Q2 7.3 7.0
2008-Q3 7.4 7.1
2008-Q4 7.7 7.4
2009-Q1 8.6 8.2
2009-Q2 9.2 8.8
2009-Q3 9.2 8.8
2009-Q4 9.5 9.1
2010-Q1 9.4 9.0
2010-Q2 9.3 8.9
2010-Q3 9.2 8.8
2010-Q4 9.2 8.8
2011-Q1 9.1 8.8
2011-Q2 9.1 8.7
2011-Q3 9.2 8.8
2011-Q4 9.4 9.0
2012-Q1 9.5 9.1
2012-Q2 9.7 9.3
2012-Q3 9.8 9.4
2012-Q4 10.1 9.7
2013-Q1 10.3 9.9
2013-Q2 10.5 10.1
2013-Q3 10.3 9.9
2013-Q4 10.1 9.8
2014-Q1 10.1 9.8
2014-Q2 10.2 9.8
2014-Q3 10.3 9.9
2014-Q4 10.4 10.1
2015-Q1 10.3 10.0
2015-Q2 10.5 10.2
2015-Q3 10.4 10.1
2015-Q4 10.2 9.9
2016-Q1 10.2 9.9
2016-Q2 10.0 9.7
2016-Q3 9.9 9.6
2016-Q4 10.0 9.8
2017-Q1 9.6 9.3
2017-Q2 9.5 9.2
2017-Q3 9.5 9.3
2017-Q4 9.0 8.7
2018-Q1 9.2 8.9
2018-Q2 9.1 8.8
2018-Q3 9.0 8.7
2018-Q4 8.8 8.5
2019-Q1 8.7 8.4
2019-Q2 8.4 8.2
2019-Q3 8.5 8.2
2019-Q4 8.1 7.9
  • Estimation within +/-0.3 point of the level of unemployment rate and of its quarterly variations.

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.

ILO-unemployment rate

Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter
ILO-unemployment rate (Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter)
ILO-unemployment rate (%) Variation in points over Thousands
2019Q3 2019Q4 quarter year 2019Q4
Unemployed persons 8.5 8.1 -0.4 -0.7 2,424
  15-24 years 19.3 20.0 0.7 0.7 568
  25-49 years 7.9 7.4 -0.5 -0.8 1,327
  50 years and more 6.3 5.8 -0.5 -0.6 528
Men 8.6 8.3 -0.3 -0.4 1,267
  15-24 years 20.6 20.8 0.2 1.3 323
  25-49 years 7.7 7.3 -0.4 -0.7 666
  50 years and more 6.4 6.1 -0.3 -0.1 279
Women 8.4 8.0 -0.4 -0.8 1,156
  15-24 years 17.8 18.9 1.1 -0.2 245
  25-49 years 8.0 7.6 -0.4 -0.9 662
  50 years and more 6.3 5.6 -0.7 -1.0 249
Long-term unemployed persons 3.4 3.2 -0.2 -0.4 965
  • Scope : population of people living in households, people aged 15 years or more in France excluding Mayotte
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

The halo of unemployment increased again in Q4 2019

Among inactive people as defined by the ILO, 1.7 million persons wished to work without being considered as unemployed according to the ILO definition: they made up the halo of unemployment. Their number increased by 59,000 over a quarter and reached the highest level since 2003. Thus the share of halo in the 15-64 years old population rose by 0.1 points quarter on quarter (+0.2 points year on year) ; to 4,0 %, its highest level since 2003.

People in the halo of unemployment

People in the halo of unemployment
People in the halo of unemployment
2003-Q1 1275
2003-Q2 1221
2003-Q3 1307
2003-Q4 1309
2004-Q1 1329
2004-Q2 1344
2004-Q3 1347
2004-Q4 1315
2005-Q1 1295
2005-Q2 1298
2005-Q3 1267
2005-Q4 1271
2006-Q1 1303
2006-Q2 1307
2006-Q3 1288
2006-Q4 1353
2007-Q1 1285
2007-Q2 1305
2007-Q3 1223
2007-Q4 1233
2008-Q1 1261
2008-Q2 1224
2008-Q3 1259
2008-Q4 1240
2009-Q1 1286
2009-Q2 1311
2009-Q3 1341
2009-Q4 1370
2010-Q1 1335
2010-Q2 1365
2010-Q3 1346
2010-Q4 1330
2011-Q1 1390
2011-Q2 1409
2011-Q3 1420
2011-Q4 1419
2012-Q1 1406
2012-Q2 1377
2012-Q3 1429
2012-Q4 1407
2013-Q1 1375
2013-Q2 1389
2013-Q3 1429
2013-Q4 1453
2014-Q1 1496
2014-Q2 1459
2014-Q3 1540
2014-Q4 1532
2015-Q1 1604
2015-Q2 1557
2015-Q3 1531
2015-Q4 1535
2016-Q1 1568
2016-Q2 1613
2016-Q3 1607
2016-Q4 1595
2017-Q1 1637
2017-Q2 1613
2017-Q3 1558
2017-Q4 1606
2018-Q1 1636
2018-Q2 1609
2018-Q3 1610
2018-Q4 1614
2019-Q1 1552
2019-Q2 1608
2019-Q3 1646
2019-Q4 1705

People in the halo of unemployment

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

The employment rate recovered in Q4 2019

The employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years rose by 0.7 points in Q4 2019, after a 0.3 point decline in the previous quarter. It stood at 65.9%, 0.4 points above its level reached a year before. It was virtually stable (+0.1 points) among youths while sharply rising among people aged 50 to 64 (+1.1 points) and middle-aged people (+0,8 points).

Over a year the employment rate decreased by 0.8 points for youths whereas it increased for people aged 25 to 49 (+0.7 points) and 50 to 64 (+1.0 points). Among the latter, the unemployment rate increased even more for people aged 55 to 64 (+1.2 points).

Employment rate by age group

Employment rate by age group
15-24 years old (right scale) 25-49 years old (left scale) 50-64 years old (left scale)
2003-Q1 31.6 80.5 53.5
2003-Q2 30.6 80.3 53.3
2003-Q3 30.5 80.4 53.0
2003-Q4 30.0 80.4 53.1
2004-Q1 30.2 80.3 53.2
2004-Q2 29.9 80.6 53.1
2004-Q3 30.3 80.3 53.6
2004-Q4 30.1 80.3 53.8
2005-Q1 29.5 80.5 54.0
2005-Q2 30.6 80.3 53.8
2005-Q3 29.5 80.6 53.4
2005-Q4 29.8 80.5 53.0
2006-Q1 29.1 80.6 53.2
2006-Q2 29.4 80.7 52.9
2006-Q3 29.7 81.2 53.1
2006-Q4 29.5 81.3 53.4
2007-Q1 29.9 81.4 53.1
2007-Q2 30.2 81.6 53.2
2007-Q3 31.0 81.7 53.2
2007-Q4 31.3 82.3 53.1
2008-Q1 31.4 82.8 53.0
2008-Q2 30.7 83.0 52.9
2008-Q3 30.7 82.9 53.0
2008-Q4 30.7 82.8 53.4
2009-Q1 30.6 81.9 53.5
2009-Q2 30.1 81.6 53.7
2009-Q3 29.6 81.5 53.1
2009-Q4 29.5 81.3 53.1
2010-Q1 30.0 81.5 53.6
2010-Q2 29.7 81.4 53.8
2010-Q3 29.1 81.5 54.2
2010-Q4 29.6 81.1 54.0
2011-Q1 29.1 81.3 54.2
2011-Q2 29.4 81.1 54.3
2011-Q3 29.2 80.7 54.8
2011-Q4 28.6 80.6 55.5
2012-Q1 28.4 80.3 56.1
2012-Q2 28.2 80.3 56.6
2012-Q3 28.0 80.2 57.0
2012-Q4 27.8 80.2 57.5
2013-Q1 27.9 79.8 57.2
2013-Q2 27.8 80.0 57.3
2013-Q3 27.9 80.2 57.5
2013-Q4 28.1 80.0 57.7
2014-Q1 28.0 80.0 58.0
2014-Q2 27.7 79.8 58.4
2014-Q3 27.6 79.5 58.6
2014-Q4 27.2 79.5 59.0
2015-Q1 28.0 79.3 59.1
2015-Q2 27.8 79.3 59.5
2015-Q3 28.2 79.4 59.7
2015-Q4 28.1 79.5 59.6
2016-Q1 28.0 79.6 60.2
2016-Q2 28.2 79.7 60.3
2016-Q3 27.5 80.0 60.6
2016-Q4 28.1 79.5 60.5
2017-Q1 28.2 79.6 60.6
2017-Q2 28.5 80.3 61.4
2017-Q3 28.9 80.1 61.2
2017-Q4 29.4 80.4 61.9
2018-Q1 29.2 80.4 62.0
2018-Q2 29.4 80.5 62.0
2018-Q3 29.9 80.5 62.4
2018-Q4 30.4 80.7 62.3
2019-Q1 29.9 80.8 62.3
2019-Q2 29.7 80.9 62.4
2019-Q3 29.5 80.6 62.2
2019-Q4 29.6 81.4 63.3

Employment rate by age group

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

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 (Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter)
% of people in the age group Variation in over
2019Q3 2019Q4 quarter year
Employed people 65.2 65.9 0.7 0.4
by sex
Men 68.5 69.0 0.5 0.0
Women 62.1 63,0 0.9 0.8
by age
15-24 years 29.5 29.6 0.1 -0.8
25-49 years 80.6 81.4 0.8 0,7
50-64 years 62.2 63.3 1.1 1.0
Included : 55-64 years 52.8 53.9 1,1 1.2
by type of employment contract
Permanent employment 49.1 49.3 0.2 0.0
Fixed-term and temporary employment 7.5 7.7 0.2 0.0
Other types of employment 8.6 8.9 0.3 0.4
by contractual working time
Full-time employment 53.9 54.3 0.4 0.4
Part-time employment 11.3 11.6 0.3 0.0
Full-time equivalent employment rate 60.7 61.2 0.5 0.4
  • Scope: population of people living in households in France excluding Mayotte, people aged 15-64 years
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

Both full-time employment and part-time employment rates advanced

Full-time employment rate stood at 54.3% in Q4 2019. It increased by 0.4 points over a quarter and over a year. Part-time employment rate advanced by 0.3 points, to 11.6 %. It returned to the level reached a year earlier.

Underemployment was virtually stable this quarter

In Q4 2019, 5.3% of the employed persons were underemployed. It mainly concerns people working part-time and wishing to work more. This share was virtually stable (–0.1 points) over a quarter but declined sharply over a year (–0.5 points).

The activity rate rose again in Q4 2019

The activity rate of people aged 15-64 went up by 0.4 points over a quarter, to 71.8 %, after a slight decrease in the previous quarter (–0.2 points). It was virtually stable (–0.1 points) over a year. Quarter on quarter, it recovered among youths (+0.5 points), middle-aged persons (+0.4 points), and persons aged 50 to 64 (+0.7  points). The rise in activity rate among those aged 55 to 64 was particularly pronounced over a quarter (+0.9  points) and over a year (+1.0 points).

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 (Seasonally adjusted, average over quarter)
% of people in the age group Variation in points over
2019Q3 2019Q4 quarter year
Active people 71.4 71.8 0.4 -0.1
by sex
Men 75.0 75.3 0.3 -0.3
Women 67.8 68.5 0.7 0.2
by age
15-24 years 36.5 37.0 0.5 -0.7
25-49 years 87.5 87.9 0.4 0.0
50-64 years 66.6 67.3 0.7 0.7
Included : 55-64 years 56.7 57.6 0.9 1.0
  • Scope: population of people living in households in France excluding Mayotte, people aged 15-64 years
  • Source: INSEE, Labour Force Survey

Revisions

Compared to the first estimate published on 14 November 2019, ILO unemployment rate in Q3 2019 has been lowered by 0.1 points, at 8.5 %, It is mainly due to an update of seasonal adjustment coefficients. One-time revisions of the unemployment rate limited to +/– 0.1 points for previous quarters are mainly due to weight revisions over the 2015-2019 period (calibration on new population margins).

For more information

An unemployed person according to the International Labour Office (ILO) is someone of working age (15 years or more) who did not work, even one hour, during the reference week, is available to work within two weeks and looked actively for a job in the previous month (or has found a job beginning in less than three months).  

Next issue: 14 May 2020 at 07.30 am


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