It's a situation never seen before! After two months of containment and an unprecedented economic slowdown, the number of job seekers registered in category A (without any activity) at Pôle Emploi in whole France (excluding Mayotte) jumped by 843,000 in April, compared to in March. Or an unprecedented explosion of… 22.6% in the space of a single short month. This historic increase brings to more than 4.57 million the number of unemployed registered in the main category of Pôle emploi, the highest level ever recorded since the creation of the series in 1996. By comparison, the twelve months of 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis, had recorded some 386,300 new entries in category A. That is to say less than half of the month of April 2020 alone…"The situation is serious and there is an urgent need for a general mobilization of all actors to collectively build protections for employees and job seekers," said Marylise Léon, the assistant general secretary of the CFDT.
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The confinement and the sharp slowdown in the economy have indeed caused a real cataclysm on the job market. If all the indicators were green at the start of the year, two months would have been enough to sweep away several years of improvement. When we look at it more closely, this historic explosion is explained by the slide in April of 633,600 job seekers from categories B and C, ie all those who exercise a reduced activity, towards category A. From as a result of confinement, these precarious groups suffered from numerous breaches of fixed-term contracts and temporary assignments, and found themselves without any activity. As a result, the combined headcount of categories A, B and C only increased by 209,300, which was the largest monthly increase (+ 3.6%) in the three categories ever recorded.
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Despite massive support for the economy and the job market with the partial unemployment scheme, the executive could not avoid the inevitable. If this increase were foreseeable, it could have been much worse without the help of the State. “ In April, more than 8 million people benefited from the partial activity. Without this protective system that we put in place at the start of the crisis, some of them would be unemployed today, and the number of new unemployed would be in the millions, "recalls the Ministry of Labor.
Another argument: the influx of many unemployed people is mainly explained by the cessation of hiring and not by " massive layoffs ". And the figures prove it: if the rise in category A is historic, entries into the first three categories of Pôle emploi are down 19.1% and exits also fall but much more significantly (-34 , 9%).
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The coming months, with the withdrawal of the partial unemployment scheme, therefore prove to be crucial. The wave of layoffs which threatens the economy and which many observers predict could be another fatal blow to a labor market already in very bad shape…
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