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The very sharp drop in the number of unemployed without activity

Posted on Jun 25 at 1:32 PMUpdated on Jun 25, at 1:40 PM
There is good news on the employment front. Logically, with the historical peak of hiring declarations recorded in May, the number of unemployed without activity registered with Pôle Emploi (category A) has fallen sharply in all of France excluding Mayotte, by 134,000 precisely (-3.5 %), reaching 3.73 million. Almost the same level as in March 2020, but still 245,000 higher than that of February 2020, just before the first confinement.

If we put aside what happened last August – the entry and exit of the first confinement that resulted in a fantastic yoyo – such a drop in category A unemployed has never been recorded on a month before the crisis, ensures the Statistics Directorate of the Ministry of Labor, the Dares.

Below 6 million
With the deconfinement, many unemployed people could resume a more or less prolonged activity, as shown by the increase of 40,000 in category B (less than 78 hours of work in the month) and 54,600 of those in the month category C (more than 78 hours). Thus, in total, the month of May ends with a “significant” drop – according to the Dares – of 39,000 in all of these three categories, to drop below the 6 million marks that had been crossed in March 2020.

The question is to know if these improvements in the labor market will be sustainable once the breath of deconfinement has lost its force. Naturally, part of the answer will come from the conditions for leaving the partial activity, that is to say, the fate of the 2.3 million employees who were still covered by this device in May.

The risk of PES is receding.
From this point of view, the latest edition of the Dares “Activity and conditions of employment of the workforce during the Covid-19 health crisis” survey confirms that the French economy is – unless there is a return to the economy. Health crisis – part to avoid the worst. It appears that the share of companies that exclude initiating a job protection plan (PSE) this year or the next continues to increase: at 37%, it has gained 11 points since March. The improvement is clear in accommodation and food services, and other service activities.

“Also, the share of companies that consider themselves relatively immune to this risk continues to increase and represents at the beginning of June more than two out of three employees,” said the Ministry of Labor. Conversely, those for which the launch of a PES is deemed possible, probable, planned or already done are less numerous: they represent 4% of employees at the beginning of June (after 5% in May and 7% in April and March). In between are companies that remain in limbo.

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