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French unemployment dips


economy

French unemployment dips

The job market in France is picking up.

The latest figures show that at the start of this year unemployment reached its lowest level in almost five years.

The jobless rate fell to 9.3 percent of the workforce for mainland, or metropolitan, France between January and March from 9.7 percent at the end of last year.

Including France’s overseas territories the rate was 9.6 percent, down from 10 percent between October and December 2016.

The number of unemployed in metropolitan France fell by 115,000 to 2.7 million.

Unemployment among 15 to 24 year-olds also dipped though it remains high at 22.3 percent, down from 23.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The number of people on temporary contracts increased to 7.8 percent of the workforce, up 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter and up 0.5 percent year-on-year.

In the final months of President Francois Hollande’s term the jobless totals were close to when he took office in 2012.

As the first quarter job numbers were released, incoming head of state Emmanuel Macron held his first cabinet meeting. According to a government spokesman. Macron said labour reform will be one of his priorities and would be carried out swiftly.

Macron had said during the election campaign that he intended to use executive decrees as soon as this summer to reform labour laws.

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