The headline number for French unemployment rate has been fairly steady in the past couple of years - between 9.5 and 10% (Bloomberg). The unemployment rate numbers however don't show the number of job seekers in France, which has been on the rise and recently reached the highest level ever. This index tends to be more of a leading indicator for the overall employment conditions in the country.
|Number of job seekers in France (broad category). Source: Barclays Capital|
Just as a background, category A represents the unemployed (registered with job centers), B represents part-time workers (under 78 hours per month), and C are people working over 78 hours a month.
The latest numbers show a significant jump in job seekers, currently at 17% above the long-term average.
ShareNet: UNEDIC said it expected the number of people out of work to rise by 214,500 by the end of 2012, taking the headline unemployment figure to 3.07 million from 2.86 million at end-2011, which was the highest level since April 1999.This employment picture in France is a clear sign of deteriorating economic conditions in the Eurozone as a whole. It is particularly alarming to see this not just in the periphery but also at the core.