The labor market has just experienced an improvement, certainly very relative but a little unexpected. During the last three months of 2020, the number of job seekers without any activity (category A of Pôle Emploi) decreased by 2.7% compared to the previous quarter on the whole of the territory (including overseas) to reach 3.816 million, according to data published, Wednesday, January 27, by the Dares – the studies department of the Ministry of Labor.
Such a decline was far from obvious, with the reconfinement measures applied for a month in the fall, which penalized companies. However, the situation remains deteriorated, at the end of a year without equivalent since the Second World War: between the end of 2019 and the end of 2020, the number of people joining category A increased by 7.5%.
Six million job seekers in all categories
The downward trend recorded during the last three months of the past year concerns all age groups, but it is more marked among those under 25: – 5.2% in metropolitan France, against – 3.1 % for 25-49 year olds and – 0.5% for those who are at least over 50 years old.
On the other hand, the number of people looking for a job while having worked (categories B and C) experienced the opposite trend during the fourth quarter of 2020, with an increase of 1.2% compared to the period going from early July to late September 2020, in mainland France.
In total, the number of individuals seeking a position, whether they have exercised an activity or not (categories A, B and C), declined over the last three months of 2020 (- 1.3% compared to the third quarter), while being at a higher level than at the end of 2019: just over six million across the country, an increase of 4.5%.
Another big black spot: the number of people looking for an employment contract for at least a year (in categories A, B and C) has increased further: + 1.7% in the last quarter of 2020 (+ 8.6% over the whole of the past year). He is now close to three million.