French unemployment rate falls to near 10-year low

PARIS: France’s unemployment rate fell unexpectedly at the end of last year to its lowest level since the start of 2009, official data showed on Thursday, offering President Emmanuel Macron some relief on the economics front.
The INSEE statistics office said the jobless rate fell to 8.8 per cent from 9.1 per cent in the previous quarter, marking the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009 during the depths of the global financial crisis.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast on average that unemployment would have remained stable at 9.1 per cent.
The fall in joblessness offers Macron a boost as he struggles to restore his authority after the waves of “yellow vests” protests that started in November against high diesel prices and have since morphed into a broader movement against his government and its drive to undertake reforms. Although jobs growth has slowed as the euro zone’s second-biggest economy struggled to gain momentum last year, thousands of new jobs are still being created.
— Reuters