Partial unemployment: the ebb continues in January 2021 – economy


Compensation for partial unemployment is maintained at a high level, even if, from one month to another, the downward trend is evident, we can conclude from the latest figures published by the Ministry of Labor.

Lower compensation, but still significant

Short-time working concerns fewer and fewer French people: after 3.1 million in November 2020 then 2.5 million in December, in January 2021 the number of beneficiaries fell to 2.1 million. The number of hours compensated has also fallen: 159 million in January 2021 against 196 million in December 2020. For the State, the amount of compensation has also fallen: 1.6 billion euros against 2 billion euros in December 2020, we learn from the latest statistical publication of the Ministry of Labor.

In February 2021, the ebb is likely to continue: both the number of prior requests and the number of potentially affected employees are down significantly compared to January 2021.

The accommodation and catering sector remains very dependent on partial unemployment

The three sectors with the highest number of employees in partial activity in January 2021 are accommodation and catering (672,000 employees, -8% compared to December 2020), retail (263,000 employees, -39%) as well as other service activities (249,000 employees, -14%). The sectors with the highest rates of partial activity would be accommodation and catering, where 59% of employees in the sector would have been in this situation in January 2021, followed by “other service activities” (32% of employees) as well as transport and storage (17% of employees).

The same statistical publication tells us that companies with fewer than twenty employees would concentrate 41% of the workforce in partial activity, and those with 250 or more employees representing 27%. The regions which concentrate the highest compensation for partial unemployment are Ile-de-France (35% of amounts paid in France), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (12.7%) and Provence-Alpes-Côte Azure (10%).

Faced with these mass compensation payments, Unédic’s deficit has widened, to the point that the accounts of this body which pays compensation should remain in the red until at least 2023.