France: employment falls less than expected

Good news in a bad number. In these complicated economic times, when there is a lack of superlatives to describe the exceptional extent of the shock we are experiencing, some data may surprise positively despite a negative figure. This was the case last week for French GDP, which had decreased by "only" 1.3% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2020, against an anticipated decline of 4%.

It is also the case with the employment figures for the fourth quarter published this morning. Over the fourth quarter, employment in France fell by "only" 0.2% compared to the previous quarter. This fall is much smaller than the declines observed during the first half of 2020 (-2.5% QoQ in 1Q and -0.8% QoQ in 2Q). And the slight drop in 4Q does not erase the strong rebound observed in 3Q. In the last quarter of 2020, 39,600 private jobs were lost in France, following the strong creation of 312,400 jobs in the third quarter. This less unfavourable than expected development is attributed to interim employment, which continued its dynamic recovery, agriculture and construction. Despite the lockdown in place in November, these three sub-sectors created jobs in the fourth quarter.




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