May 22, 2022

Behind the recovery of employment, the shadow of precariousness

As the balance sheet of the five-year term is sketched out, these are flattering figures that come at the right time for Emmanuel Macron. During the last quarter of 2021, the number of jobseekers without any activity (category A) fell again, according to data from the Ministry of Labor and Pôle Emploi, published on Wednesday January 26. It now reaches just under 3.34 million across the country (including overseas, except Mayotte), a decline of 5.9% compared to the previous three months. If we reason over one year, the decrease is even clearer: – 12.6%, which is unprecedented since the launch of this statistical series in 1996.

Thanks to this spectacular decline, the damage caused by the recessionary shock of 2020 has been more than offset, with the indicator now at a lower level (by 6.1%) than in the fourth quarter of 2019. Category A workforce have never been so low since 2012. They fell by 11.8% if we compare May 2017 to December 2021. “The president of employment is Emmanuel Macron”, rejoiced, Wednesday, the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, on Twitter.

All age groups have benefited from the improvement recorded over the past twelve months, starting with young people (–17.8% in mainland France). The curve is also downward for those registered with Pôle Emploi aged 25 to 49 (-14.4%) and, to a lesser degree, for those who have crossed the threshold of fifty (-8.2%).

“These results, undeniably very good, are in line with the strong job creations”, comments Gilbert Cette, professor of economics at the Neoma Business School. From the end of 2020 to the end of 2021, hiring declarations increased by 39%, according to Urssaf. The past year has been ” atypical “, as the Director General of Pôle Emploi, Jean Bassères, declared during a press conference on Tuesday: it was marked both by the “health crisis” and by a recovery “stronger than estimated [initialement] », he added. Thus, job offers “deposited” with the public operator increased by 28.5% between December 2019 and December 2021.

A continuum of reforms

The “whatever it takes” made it possible to limit damage in 2020, while contributing to the impressive rebound over the following financial year: intensive recourse to short-time working, aid for hiring – in particular of apprentices, whose number should, once again, beat records in 2021… Just for the “1 young person, 1 solution” plan, intended to support those under 26, more than 9 billion euros have been put on the table, according to the government.

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