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Is unemployment really at its lowest “for fifteen years”?


THE CHEKING PROCESS – On several occasions, the executive has presented a flattering record in the fight against unemployment. Is right ?

THE QUESTION. Mission accomplished for Elisabeth Borne? During her handover ceremony, the former Minister of Labor, now at Matignon, defended her record in the fight against unemployment. “The youth unemployment rate is at its lowest for 40 years and never have so many French people had a job“, she said in particular, alongside her successor, Olivier Dussopt. And to go one better, believing that full employment was “within reach”.

In the past, Emmanuel Macron was also satisfied with the improvement on the employment front. “Today we have an unemployment rate that is the lowest in fifteen years“, declared the head of state on TF1 and LCI, in December. Rebelote, in March, the then candidate for re-election said that “we are at 7.4% unemployment, the lowest for 15 years, we are at the lowest youth unemployment for 40 years“.

The Head of State had, in November, addressed the labor shortages, which are hampering the recovery and the rebound of the economy. “At a time when 3 million of our compatriots are still unemployed, this situation runs counter to common sense”, he concluded. Is right. A little later, he was still congratulating himself on everything he had done since the start of his five-year term for young people, of whom 3 million have found “training, employment or support” thanks to the plan1 youth 1 answer» put in place at the start of the crisis. Result, after the worst recession in the country (-8% in 2020) since the Second World War, “the unemployment rate (for young people) is at its lowest for more than fifteen years”.

But, quickly, this good record had been challenged by Marine Le Pen: the candidate for the presidential election had called the President of the Republic a liar, demonstration in support. “Every half sentence is a lie, an omissionshe said. The President of the Republic takes the unemployment figures from the ILO, which we know have extremely limited criteria for measuring unemployment. The president does not tell us about the unemployment halo, so in reality it is 3 million + 2. I have a reality, it is the one given by Pole emploi and it tells us that there are 5.871 million job seekers in categories A, B and C registered with Pôle Emploi. There were 5.550 million in 2017. There are therefore more unemployed today than when Emmanuel Macron was elected. […] Everything is manipulated, the numbers are wrong. His record is bad, I understand that he does not want to admit it, but the French feel it.

Marine Le Pen has also reiterated her criticisms:there are 5.7 million unemployed A, B, C in our country. […] Unemployment is stable, absolutely stable“said the candidate, on France Inter, in March. So, is Emmanuel Macron lying to the French about his results in the fight against unemployment? Is it at its lowest for fifteen years? Are there really 3 million unemployed people currently in France, as he says, or nearly 6 million, as Marine Le Pen asserts? And which indicator is the most relevant, that of the ILO or Pôle emploi, to measure unemployment in France?

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