According to figures published by INSEE on February 13, the unemployment rate in France fell sharply, by 0.4 points, in the fourth quarter of 2019, to settle at 8.1% of the working population and reach its highest low level since the end of 2008. France (excluding Mayotte) has 2,424 million unemployed, or 85,000 less in the quarter. Over one year, the unemployment rate, measured according to the standards of the International Labor Office (ILO), is down 0.7 points. INSEE also revised its third quarter figure from 8.6 to 8.5%.
Qualified by Emmanuel Macron as “very good news”, this information was however called into question by certain political figures thus referring to a gap between the figures of Pôle emploi and INSEE.
Among the skeptics is the president of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen:
France (excluding Mayotte) has 2,424 million unemployed “but,” at the same time “, 3,308,800 people are registered with Pôle Emploi in category A therefore WITHOUT employment … 🤔 And if we stopped lying to the French? MLPhttps://t.co/XdkXBEkngy
– Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) February 13, 2020
A similar doubt was expressed by the former representative of the National Front and president of the Les Patriotes party Florian Philippot:
There were less than 4 million registered at Pôle Emploi in 2008.
Over 6 million today. (https://t.co/CQHtbwXjeP)
But we will tell you all day that the #unemployment is “at its lowest since 2008”. According to INSEE …
Let’s really change our policy instead of lying.
– Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) February 13, 2020
The situation clarified by INSEE
To put an end to these accusations, an administrator of the Institute, Benoît Ourliac, spoke on February 13 on the blog of the institution, launched in mid-January in order to “illuminate the economic and social debate” and “fight against the spread of false or misappropriated information ”.
Responding without naming her to Marine le Pen, but quoting her, the INSEE official drew attention to the definition of the term “unemployed”:
“This definition is […] completely independent of whether or not people are registered with Pôle emploi; neither is it affected by radiation. The only way to measure unemployment as defined by the ILO is to survey people […]. In France, this is the “Employment survey”, carried out each quarter by INSEE with a representative sample of 70,000 households randomly drawn from across the country. “
For its part, Pôle emploi has job seekers, that is to say people who are registered on its lists, as Benoît Ourliac specifies.
In addition, the measurement of unemployment in the sense of the ILO is based exclusively on the statements of the people themselves and that there is no reason to think that they are lying to the French through their responses, summarizes Le Figaro.