France sees first drop in unemployment this year

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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It may well be just a blip, but the number of unemployed people in France has fallen by 0.3 per cent, month on month (Source: Getty)

It may well be just a blip, but the number of unemployed people in France has fallen by 0.3 per cent, month on month.

This is the first such drop since October last year and comes despite a 26,000 rise in the number of unemployed persons in July and a predicted jump of 16,000 in August.

The Euro has fallen against the dollar to its lowest in 15 months

The 0.3 per cent fall translates to 11,000 extra jobs. France's unemployment rate has remained stubornly high, fluctuating between 10.3 per cent and 10.1 per cent in the last 13 months. The rate of 10.3 per cent this July was the same as that of July 2014.

A one off drop shopuld not be seen as a sign that France has turned the tide, and other data isn't good.

BNP Paribas economist Dominque Barbet was unimpressed. He pointed out that when figures included underemployed people the 0.3 per cent rise cam,e down to 0.1 per cent month on month, a drop of 6,000.

He also identified one-off changes as a possible cause:

A special factor may also explain this decline. The reorganisation of the working time in French primary schools has required the hiring of many people to look after the kids in the later part of the afternoon. We have expected this would hit the September figure, but some of the impact may be visible as early as August. We still believe the number of under-employed job seekers may temporarily decline in September.

Here is a graph charting France's unemployment. It's indexed, so it's showing change not rate. It doesn't include August's numbers, which Eurostat is yet to include.

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