Unemployment in France rises to 4.5 million record high

Unemployment in France rises to 4.5 million record high
Photo: AFP
Unemployment in France has reached levels not seen since 1996 as the coronavirus epidemic and lockdown measures continue to bite.

There are now 4.5 million people out of work in France, the highest number seen since 1996.

French job centres reported that an extra 1,065,200 people registered as category A job-seekers – people who have no employment at all – in April.

However a closer look at the figures show that 633,600 of those people were already registered in the Pôle emploi system but as people on 'reduced activity' who had some work.

Overall in April an extra 209,300 people signed on for unemployment.

The people who are receiving chômage partielthe French government's furlough scheme – do not appear in these statistics as they are still employed, even if they are currently not working and the government is paying their salary.

The data seems to suggest that the most vulnerable people in the job market – those on short-term contracts, temporary or partial work and intermittently employed people are the first to feel the effects of the huge economic slowdown that has accompanied the lockdown.

Experts predict that France is on course for its worst recession since 1945.

France's unemployment system allows people to register with the Pôle emploi for top-up benefits with the largest groups of these including seasonal workers who can claim benefits during the 'off' season for their work and intermittants du spectacle – people who work in the arts who can top up irregular incomes if they need to.

As well as the furlough scheme, the French government has also brought in support packages for self-employed people and small business owners, as well as specific packages for industries including tourism and the arts and culture sector.

READ ALSO How well is France's €7 billion plan to save small businesses really working?

Jobs in France

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.