France unemployment falls at start of Macron presidency

Paris (AFP) –


The number of jobless in France dipped slightly in June, the first full month under President Emmanuel Macron, who has launched labour reforms aimed at boosting hiring.

After rising in May the number of unemployed in mainland France fell by 0.3 percent, or 10,900 people, to 3.48 million, the labour ministry announced.

The total number of jobless, including in French overseas territories, stood at 3.74 million, the ministry said.

The unemployment figures have been see-sawing since the start of the year. The jobless rate currently stands at 9.6 percent.

To encourage hiring Macron's centrist government is negotiating with trade unions and employers groups on liberal reforms to the country's rigid labour laws.

Under the reforms to be implemented by decree, bosses would have more freedom to negotiate conditions directly with workers and certain types of severance payments would be capped.