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Lower-Than-Expected Unemployment Encourages French Government

PARIS:France's unemployment rate, based on International Labor Organization (ILO) definitions, amounted to 11.2% of the workforce in July, the lowest level since 1993, Labor Minister Martin Aubry said Aug. 31. This is down from June's 11.3% and below analyst expectations. Based on ILO definitions, which omit persons who worked at all during the month, the number of jobless in July fell a seasonally adjusted 0.9%, or by 25,000 to 2,907,000 from 2,932,000 in June. Aubry, speaking on French radio Europe 1, said the French government's unemployment reduction policies are "starting to bear fruit," and that France is now on a long-term trend of falling unemployment. However, while the figures are "very good," Aubry acknowledged there is "still much work to be done." The Labor Ministry said declining joblessness was most marked among older persons, due to a change in calculations for that category. Men older than 50 years of age saw unemployment drop by a monthly 3.6% and a yearly 6.0%, while joblessness among women in the same group dropped by a monthly 2.9% and a yearly 1.9%. The number of long-term unemployed, those without a job for a year or more, fell an adjusted 2.1% from June to 1,050,700. That was down 9.1% on the year.

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