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France – Almost 70,000 jobs lost in French private sector

15 February 2013

Although unemployment stabilised in December, the labour market is still in a dire state according to Les Echos. Preliminary statistics released yesterday by Insee have confirmed its degradation. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the French private sector lost 28,100 jobs. The pace is slower than the surge recorded in the third quarter with 41,700 jobs destroyed. 

Overall the Q4 results bringing the total number of jobs lost in the sector to 66,800 in 2012, an annual rate of decline of 0.4%. Although this number is well below the 190,000 and 260,000 jobs lost in 2008 and 2009. The French economy, according to Les Echos, still shows itself unable to return to the same volume of jobs before the crisis. 

Overall the private sector excluding agriculture fell to 16.033 million at the end of last year (see chart). While, as we reported on 12 February 2013, the staffing market contracted by -9%.

In the industrial sector, there were 13,100 jobs losses in Q4, bringing the total loss for the year to 31,700, slightly less than half the overall fall in the private sector. The situation is not expected to settle in the coming months. A recent note from INSEE suggested that the French economy will lose 75,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2013; taking private sector employment below the psychologically important 16million mark.

The news comes the day after a 43-year-old man died after setting himself on fire outside a job centre in the western city of Nantes. Djamal Chaab, whom authorities believe was unemployed, had informed the job centre of his plan to take his own life but, sadly, authorities were unable to intervene in time. In a statement Wednesday, French Labour Minister Michel Sapin called the death a "shocking drama."

To see the report in French, click here.

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