Unemployment: INSEE announces a fall “in trompe-l’oeil” – Economy


In the fourth quarter of 2020, the unemployment rate fell to 8%, returning to pre-crisis levels. A sharp drop that INSEE describes as ” optical illusion “.

A drop in unemployment ” trompe l’oeil

The fourth quarter of 2020 was a surprise to see the unemployment rate fall by 1.1 points, reaching 8%, the level before the health crisis. A decrease which according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) is ” partly trompe-l’oeil “. Indeed, if the fourth quarter of 2020 saw a decline in the unemployment rate, it also witnessed a second lockdown.

Thus, during the second confinement which took place from October 30 to December 15, 2020, i.e. during most of the fourth quarter of 2020 (from October to December inclusive), the number of job seekers fell sharply. A fall due to the cessation of research by many people precisely because of this second confinement.

Unemployed people who have stopped looking at the origin of this drop

Thus, it is the unemployed who have stopped looking for work who are at the origin of this drop in the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020. To be counted in this unemployment rate, it is necessary to correspond to the definition of the unemployed person made by the International Labor Office (ILO).. To be considered unemployed, you must have, during the last four weeks, established at least one job search process and declare that you are available for hiring within two weeks.

INSEE explains that “ These two behaviors, availability and research, were more or less affected by the limitations of the movement of people and by the perception that they had of the possibilities offered on the labor market in this period of health crisis. “.

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