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Lee Jobs growth shows Macron inherits stronger French economy 6/17/2017 9:41:11 PM
Lee
Lee
Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron could do with the support of a strong jobs market to aid the passage of his labour market reforms CREDIT: CHRISTOPHE MORIN/BLOOMBERG 13 JUNE 2017 • 4:21PM

 

Hiring surged in France in the first three months of the year, providing a strong stage for new President Emmanuel Macron’s economic plans.

Employment rose by 89,700 in the first quarter, a rise of 0.4pc - the fastest rise in a decade.

The vast majority of that was in the private sector as businesses’ headcount rose by another 80,300. 

That means employment has risen sharply in the past year, jumping by 284,100 compared with the first quarter of 2016 - the biggest annual increase since 2011.

Total employment in France stands at 24.93m, according to national statistics agency INSEE.

Francois Hollande
The improvement took place at the end of Francois Hollande's presidency - but came too late to save his popularity ratings

“This report confirms that employment growth in the services sector is improving. Temporary employment expanded at a double-digit pace for the second quarter, illustrating the improvement in business confidence across the board,” said economist Christian Schulz at Citi.

“We expect this trend to be reinforced in the second quarter after the legislative elections and the subsequent reform of the labour code to be introduced by President Macron, thanks in part to a likely comfortable absolute majority in the lower house.”

Mr Macron swept to power on a platform which included promises of labour market reforms, aimed at bringing down France’s uncomfortably high unemployment rate of almost 10pc.

 

Those reforms would seek to make it easier to hire - and fire - workers, something which can be unpopular among those staff who lose job security.

The intention is that it makes companies more willing to hire a new worker, and so overall should reduce unemployment.

A strong jobs market should help cushion the blow of the painful elements of those reforms.

Lee

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