Paris, France (4E) – The number of unemployed people in France dropped in August for the first time in more than two years, a sign that that the government may meet its pledge to turn around the labor market before the year ends.
The number of claims for unemployment benefits fell by 50,000 in August. The figure dropped for the first time since April 2011 and the biggest single month drop in the unemployment rate since the turn of the century.
The number of unemployment people in the country increased for 27 straight months up to July 2013, reaching its peak at 3.28 million. That number has dropped to its current level of 3.23 million.
Wednesday’s report is welcome news for French President Francois Hollande, who vowed last year to reverse the rising jobless rate before the year ends, though his government’s efforts has yet to achieve sufficient economic growth to put millions of jobless people to work. Instead, the government has tried to subsidize jobs to contain the rise in unemployment.
Although the weak economy is benefiting from the intervention of the government, it is not likely to provide the growth needed to generate many jobs enough to absorb the large number of unemployed. More than a decade ago, the economy slid into recession, or two straight quarters of economic contraction. Second quarter data showed the economy returned to growth.
Last fall, the Socialist government announced that it will spend more than 2bn euros ($2.7bn) to help meet its planned 100,000 jobs for the youth this year, and it plans another 50,000 more in 2014.