According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), France's unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in the second quarter from 8.7% in the first, marking the lowest jobless rate in the euro zone's second-biggest economy since the end of 2008. Economists had forecast an unemployment rate of 8.7% for the second quarter.
In metropolitan France, the number of unemployed decreased by 66,000 over a quarter to 2.4 million people; the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 points, to 8.2 % of the labour force. It decreased for all age groups. The fall is more pronounced among young people (−0.6 points) than among persons aged 25 to 49 (−0.2 points) and those aged 50 and over (−0.2 points).
Over a year, the unemployment rate in metropolitan France decreased by 0.6 points, but fell more markedly among the youth (−1.5 points), in particular young women (−1.8 points).
A steady improvement in the jobs market has offered French President Emmanuel Macron some relief in the face of months of street protests against government policies often criticised for favouring the wealthier members of society.
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