In the first quarter, the number of unemployed as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO) reached 2.2 million people, or 18,000 less over the quarter.

The unemployment rate, which had fallen sharply in the last quarter (-0.6 points), is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2008.

“It is 0.8 point lower than its level a year earlier, and 0.9 point below its level before the health crisis (end of 2019)”, underlines INSEE.

Over the quarter, the youth unemployment rate rebounded slightly (0.3 points to 16.3%) after falling sharply in the previous quarter (-3.5 points). It fell by 0.2 point for the 25-49 year olds to 6.6% and it was almost stable for the 50 year olds or over, at 5.6%.

As regards the “halo around unemployment”, i.e. unemployed people who want to work but do not meet the other ILO criteria to be considered unemployed (actually looking for a job and being available to take one), it remains stable to 1.8 million people.

The long-term unemployment rate is also stable at 2.2% of the active population. About 700,000 unemployed people say they are unemployed and have been looking for one for at least a year.

The employment rate for 15-64 year olds increased again by 0.2 points, to 68%. It thus exceeds its highest historical level since INSEE measured it (1975).

It increased by 0.7 point for young people and reached 34.6%, its highest level since 1991. For 25-49 year olds, it increased by 0.2 point to 82.5%, its highest level since the beginning 2009. Finally, that of 50-64 year olds is stable at 65.5%, its highest level ever.

The share of underemployment (part-timers wishing to work more or on partial unemployment) fell by 0.3 points to 4.7%, its lowest level since 1992.

The activity rate (people in employment or unemployed) of 15-64 year olds also increased by 0.2 points to 73.4% and returned to its highest historical level in the third quarter of 2021.