INSEE sees growth in the first half of 2021 … and job losses


The conjuncture report published on March 11, 2021 by INSEE, and entitled One year later…, which is far from being a habit for the institute which prefers more factual and descriptive titles, gives good news and bad news for the economy. The maid ? It confirms that the recession is over and that growth is back. The bad ? France has not left the hostel …

5.5% of growth gains at the end of the first half of 2021 for France

If the INSEE forecasts must be taken with caution because the pandemic and health situation is very uncertain and that the reconfinement still hangs over the heads of the French population, it is difficult not to see in this economic report a little of hope: thanks to activity that is only 5% below its normal level, the French economy is expected to grow by 1% in the first quarter of 2021.

Rebelote in the second, estimates INSEE, which warns: ” economic activity in the coming months will largely depend on sanitary conditions “. If all goes well, the French economy will experience a second quarter of growth, with 1% growth.

At the end of June 2021, therefore, the Hexagon would have a growth experience, i.e. the level of annual growth if growth is zero during the rest of the year, of 5.5%. This confirms the forecasts of the Bank of France: its governor, François Villeroy de Galhau, announced growth of at least 5% in 2021 for France, one of the highest in the European Union.

But a sharp rise in unemployment

If growth is back, it won’t solve everything, and especially not the 8.2% recession experienced by the French economy in 2020. At the end of 2021, INSEE does not see the crisis being completely erased.

In particular, the increase in the unemployment rate will weigh heavily: the wave linked to the pandemic is fast approaching. While the unemployment rate, as defined by the International Labor Office (meaning different from that of Pôle emploi), fell at the end of 2020 to 8%, this was only a windfall effect linked to measures to safeguard the labor market. ’employment. It will disappear in the first quarter of 2021, judges INSEE, which expects unemployment at 8.5%, higher than the level at the end of 2019 (8.1%).

After destroying 284,000 jobs in 2020, it will still be 77,000 net jobs, according to the Institute’s forecasts, which will disappear from France over the first six months of 2021.