Unemployment in France returns to its lowest level in 14 years in the third quarter

PARIS, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Unemployment in France fell to its lowest level in 14 years in the third quarter, official data showed on Tuesday, a figure that should be welcomed by the government as it battles the surge in inflation.

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.3% from 7.4% in the previous three months, the INSEE statistical agency said, remaining within the range of 7.3% to 7.4% which has prevailed since the last three months of 2021.

The rate was in line with expectations from a Reuters poll of 12 economists and consistent with that seen in the first quarter of the year, which was the lowest since the second quarter of 2008, except for an abnormal drop in the start of the pandemic. .

Unemployment rose to 9.5% when French President Emmanuel Macron first took office in 2017. He was re-elected for a second term last May, but failed to win a majority in parliament in the general elections in June.

The INSEE report showed youth unemployment rose to 18.3% in the third quarter from 18.0% in the previous three months.

At the same time, the employment rate – the share of the working population employed – fell from 68.0% to 68.3%, reaching the highest level since INSEE began keeping records in 1975.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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