1 chart that proves France is still the sick man of Europe

It wasn’t the focus of the Eurozone crisis 18 months ago, but France is now doing worse than countries like Spain.

The crisis in Spain and Greece was – and still is – terribly painful. But it led to a series of tough economic reforms to free up key areas like the jobs market, as governments sought to turn the situation around.

Countries where the crisis was less severe, like France, have not pushed through those reforms. Now, France is suffering.

This chart is compiled from Markit’s purchasing managers’ index – an influential survey of private sector firms, in the services and manufacturing sectors.

Any score above 50 shows an increase in employment. Below 50 shows a fall in jobs.

The blue line shows German employment rising (just). The orange shows French jobs falling. And the green is made of up Italy, Greece, Spain, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Those countries are now doing better than France, and employment there has stopped falling. For the first time in four years, France has fallen behind the periphery.