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The Institute for National Statistics (Insee) has yesterday published revised labour market statistics with a positive surprise. Job losses in 2009 were less than provisionally estimated last month.
Provisional data in February had suggested that 400,000 jobs were lost in the private sector in 2009. Corrected figures, however, show that only 357,600 jobs were lost last year.
The revised figures are mainly due to improved labour market conditions in Q4 2009 when private sector employment only fell by -0.1% as opposed to the estimated -0.4%. In June 2009 Insee had forecast a loss of 700,000 jobs by the end of 2009.
In spite of these much better than expected labour market figures, things still look pretty bad in France. Over the last seven quarters 600,000 jobs have been lost in the private sector, which takes France back to 2005 employment levels with 15.85 million employed in the private sector.
The Minister for the Economy, Christine Lagarde, said "we have seen a significant slowdown in job losses. This stabilisation should continue during the remainder of 2010."
As in 2008, industry was the worst hit sector in 2009 with -173,000 job losses (-4.9%), followed by construction with 49,900 job losses (-3.4%). The tertiary sector suffered less with -139,700 job losses (-1.2%).
Temporary employment, on the other hand, was up by +5% in 2009 according to the Association of Temporary Employers (PRISME).
To read the full labour market statistics in French language please click here