After the slight rise in April (+0.3%), the Ministry of Labor recorded a drop in the number of job seekers in May.

In concrete terms, the number of unemployed in categories A, B and C fell from 5,456,300 in April to 5,432,400 a month later, a drop of 23,900 (-0.4%). Over one year, the decline is 8.8%, or more than half a million fewer unemployed.

The category A unemployed, who did not even exercise a reduced activity the previous month, are less numerous, falling from 3,178,600 in April to 3,153,300 in May, ie – 0.8%. Over one year, the drop is 15% (556,100 fewer unemployed).

Monthly data difficult to interpret

More broadly, the Ministry of Labor notes a 1.6% drop in category B unemployed (having carried out a reduced activity of a maximum of 78 hours per month) but an increase in category C (having worked more than 78 hours per month). Category D unemployed (training or sick and not required to look for a job) are also down sharply (–3%).

By publishing these data, the Ministry of Labor recalls that these are monthly data, very volatile and sometimes difficult to interpret, unlike the figures published quarterly.

These figures are however corroborated by the data published Wednesday, June 22 by Urssaf which had recorded a 3.7% increase in declarations of hiring for more than a month.

Urssaf also notes an increase in hiring

The organization responsible for collecting social security contributions from 19 million employees noted an increase in hirings on fixed-term contracts of more than one month (+ 4.6%) and those on permanent contracts (+ 2.8%). Hiring thus increased by 7.8% over one year and by 13% compared to February 2020, the last point before the crisis.

The number of declarations prior to hiring (DPAE) of more than a month even reached 843,918 in May, a figure never reached in the statistical series available on the Urssaf website.

In industry, in particular, declarations of hiring for more than one month were stable (+ 0.2%) in May 2022 and increased by 7.9% over one year. Compared to February 2020, the change is +8.7%.


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