France economy

Unemployment in France slightly higher in the third quarter


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Job seekers wait to speak to staff at an office of the National Employment Agency (Pôle emploi) in Aubervilliers, near Paris, France, on December 20, 2017. REUTERS / Benoit Tessier / File Photo

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PARIS, November 19 (Reuters) – The unemployment rate in France rose slightly in the third quarter but remained at the levels seen before the COVID-19 crisis, according to official data released on Friday.

The unemployment rate reached 8.1% in the third quarter – the same rate as at the end of 2019 – against 8.0% in the previous three months, the statistical agency INSEE said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast an unemployment rate of 7.8% for the third quarter.

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As the French economy recovers from the pandemic, a labor shortage has emerged in some sectors as businesses struggle to meet booming consumer demand.

However, the unemployment rate has not fallen in sync, as there are also more people looking for work as those left on the sidelines during the crisis are returning to the labor market.

As consumer spending rebounded from a mass vaccination campaign, the French government has raised its growth forecast several times this year and is currently forecasting growth of 6.25%.

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Leigh Thomas; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Philippa Fletcher

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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