PARIS: France’s unemployment rate took another tumble in the second quarter, falling to its lowest level in five years as the eurozone’s second-largest economy joins in the bloc’s wider recovery. The dip from 9.6 per cent to 9.5 per cent on the jobless rate will come as more welcome news for new president Emmanuel Macron who has made revamping the country’s labour market a priority of his five-year term in office.
France has long suffered with double-digit unemployment since the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis but has been enjoying a boost in job creation over the last year as business confidence has surged. The fall to 9.5 per cent in the three months to June was in line with forecasts but is still above the eurozone’s 9.1 per cent rate – a 2009-era low. French unemployment fell by 20,000 in the quarter, said Insee. Dutch unemployment, meanwhile, sank to its lowest level since 2011 at 4.8 per cent in the quarter. The Netherlands’ economy is enjoying its best period of growth since the start of monetary union in 2000. Official figures released yesterday showed GDP expanded by 1.5 per cent in the second quarter – more than double the eurozone’s average.