Jobless rate falls for fifth consecutive month

30th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, September 29 (AFP) - Unemployment in France fell 0.9 percent in August from July, the fifth consecutive month of declines, the labor ministry said Friday.

PARIS, September 29 (AFP) - Unemployment in France fell 0.9 percent in August from July, the fifth consecutive month of declines, the labor ministry said Friday.

There were 21,500 fewer job seekers in August out of a total of 2,401,800.

Last month's result followed reductions of 0.1 percent in July, 1.4 percent in June and 0.1 percent in both April and May.

The country's jobless rate, as calculated according to standards set by the International Labor Organization, remained unchanged at 9.9 percent of the workforce. It slipped below 10 percent in July for the first time since October 2003.

Even before August's drop in jobless figures was announced, French prime minister Dominique de Villepin praised the progress he said his government was making in issues of employment.

"Things are improving," de Villepin said at his monthly press conference Thursday.

Economists generally consider three consecutive months of decline as a significant change.

However many observers point out that the drop in unemployment since June is due mainly to the relaunch of contracts partially or entirely funded by the state, initiated in January of this year, which are now starting to take effect.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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