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Market news

16 May 2019

French unemployment rate eased to decade low in first quarter

France's unemployment rate fell slightly in the first quarter to hit its lowest level in a decade, data from INSEE statistics office showed.

The INSEE said the jobless rate had slipped to 8.7% from 8.8% in the fourth quarter, reaching its lowest level since the start of 2009.

A steady improvement in the labour market offers president Macron some relief after months of regular street protests against the high-cost of living and his pro-business economic reform drive.

Although growth has been low over the last year, the economy continues to add thousands of new jobs, pushing the employment rate to its highest level since 1980. INSEE said it was steady in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, at 66.1%. The unemployment rate in mainland France also fell to a 10-year low of 8.4%, down from 8.5% in the fourth quarter.

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