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France: unemployment rate 2004-2018

In 2010, unemployment rate in France reached a record level of 10.4 percent. Unemployment remains a rampant issue for French economy, being stagnant year-over-year since the financial and economical crisis in 2008. During the first quarter of 2018, more than 1.4 million people aged between 25 and 49 years were unemployed in France.

Change in unemployment since 2008

In 2008, year of the financial crisis, unemployment rate in France reached its lowest level since 2004. That year, France had an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent while, one year before it had reached 8 eight percent. Unemployment is an important economic factor for a country and a measure of a region’s economic health. Despite its low level in 2008, unemployment rate in France increased steadily between 2009 and 2016. In 2015, it even reached its highest level since the mid-2000s with a percentage of unemployed people among the French population which was of 10.4 percent. That year, unemployed people represented 11.5 percent of the urban population in France. However, French unemployment rate seemed to be experiencing improvements in recent years. In 2017, long-term employment rate decreased after several years of constant growth.

Unemployment in France and the EU

European markets were particularly affected by the 2008 global financial crisis and the recession which followed. Nevertheless, Unemployment rate in the EU reached 6.5 percent in January 2019, compared to 7.2 percent one year before and the number of unemployed persons in the European Union and the Euro area is declining since 2018. This improvement seems to be affecting France to a lesser extent. France was one of the EU members with the highest unemployment rate in 2019, and youth unemployment still reaches a record number in the country.

Unemployment rate in France from 2004 to 2018

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Release date

August 2018



Survey time period

2004 to 2018

Age group

15-74 years

Supplementary notes

The source indicates: "the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force based on International Labour Office (ILO) definition. The labour force is the total number of people employed and unemployed. Unemployed people include persons aged 15 to 74 who are without work during the reference week, available to start work within the next two weeks and have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks or had already found a job to start within the next three months."

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Statistics on "Unemployment in France"

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