France Unemployment Surges To 16 Year High

Tyler Durden's picture

Europe's second largest economy and crucial to the core founding partnership of the euro project, France, has seen its unemployment rate rise unceasingly for 9 quarters in a row now. At 11.03%, French unemployment has not been higher since Q3 1997. Of course, President Hollande, despite falling PMIs and rising unemployment is hopeful that things are turning around as he notes, France is "now in a phase of stabilization that remains very fragile." Some optimism can be taken from the relative stability in youth unemployment for a change but the over-50s unemployment reached an all-time high of 8.2%.




Chart: Bloomberg

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SAT 800's picture

Frenchy? eh? does this mean you're a Walloon rather than a Flemish?

NoDebt's picture

You should take some Robitussin for that.

Dr. Engali's picture

+1 lol. Thanks for the laugh.

zaphod's picture

Dear France,

Simply remove 5 million people from the "workforce participation" pool and presto your unemployment rate drops. Please see the US  Bureau of Labor Statistics for guidance.

Dogface's picture

Dear France,

Just make sure that when unemployment rates reach 30% 2/3 of them are goverment empyees, I cant aford to pay your salarys anymore.

SAT 800's picture

OMG. tea up my nose. LOL. I was just wondering if I should apologize for implying he was the "other kind of Belgian"; and then you put it all back on the "fight club" plane, again.

falak pema's picture

"other kind of american" ?


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture


SAT 800's picture

well, you know, you have to be optimistic. Look at it this way, it's not an 18 year high. See; don't you feel better already?

max2205's picture

Time to fudge the numbers moar better...merkel will not let this stand....who's going to buy all those couku clocks

SWRichmond's picture

It's a recovery, bitches!

Occident Mortal's picture

Anyone remember this story earlier this year?


To be perfectly honest, there was no way an avowed capitalist from the US and a socialist French minister intent on protecting workers' rights were going to see eye to eye.

However, the flaming letter sent from Maurice "Morry" Taylor Jr, the head of the tyre company Titan International, to the French industry minister, Arnaud Montebourg, still revealed something of a culture shock.

Taylor, a 1996 US Republican presidential candidate, revealed he was no loss to the international diplomatic service in his letter to the minister, who had suggested he might like to take over a Goodyear tyre factory in the economically struggling industrial heartland of northern France, near Amiens.

"Do you think we're stupid?" Taylor wrote to Montebourg in the letter, which was made public on Wednesday. "I've visited this factory several times. The French workers are paid high wages but only work three hours. They have one hour for their lunch, they talk for three hours and they work for three hours. I said this directly to their union leaders; they replied that's the way it is in France.

"Sir, your letter suggests you would like to open discussions with Titan. You think we're that stupid? Titan has money and the knowhow to produce tyres. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government. The French farmer wants cheap tyres. He doesn't care if those tyres come from China or India or if those tyres are subsidised."

The broadside came after the French government, anxious to save jobs at Goodyear, initiated talks. Very quickly, Montebourg could see the takeover project was going nowhere and publicly hinted as much. Taylor went considerably further in his letter.

"Titan is going to buy Chinese or Indian tyres, pay less than €1 an hour to workers and export all the tyres that France needs," Taylor boasted. "In five years, Michelin won't be producing tyres in France.

"You can keep your so-called workers. Titan is not interested in the factory in North Amiens," concluded Michigan-born Taylor, nicknamed "The Grizz" and reputed to be hot-tempered and "rough-hewn", according to Forbes magazine.

Asked about the letter on Wednesday, Montebourg did not comment. "I do not want to harm France's interests," he said.

Goodyear announced at the end of January that it would be closing the North Amiens site, throwing 1,173 workers out of jobs. The company said it was "the only possible option after five years of unsuccessful negotiations".

Mickaël Wamen, a leader of the Confédération Générale du Travail union at Goodyear in North Amiens, called the letter "insulting". He toldEurope 1 radio: "Mr Taylor is talking today about a factory he was praising a few weeks ago. Titan has had difficulty breaking into the European market, and it's not with comments like that that it will succeed."



"You can keep your so-called workers" - brilliant

ParkAveFlasher's picture

The French will be tying bags of stale croissants to their axles when all is said and done.  Zut alors!~

Sudden Debt's picture

you can also look to that chart and say: WHAT GOES UP WILL GO DOWN

it's the law...

Bosch's picture

It is almost like socialist economic policies don't actually work.

Sudden Debt's picture

sometimes it does... SHOW ME YOUR WALLET!!


SAT 800's picture

Is that Spanish? Spanish goes like this; Tu casa es mi casa, y mi casa es mi casa.

CuttingEdge's picture

Nah Sat. You're slightly out. That's "Dimonspeak".

LawsofPhysics's picture

1789 redux?  Just trying to stay optimistic folks...

centerline's picture

At some point I would think so.  The EU is screwed.  No common debt makes thier ponzi even more unstable.  Yuan just passed the EU by actually in terms of trade.  My bet is the EU goes up in flames first.

Dr. Engali's picture

TPTB better get this war started soon. These youth might start getting unruly.

NidStyles's picture

Start? Seriously you jest good sir.

Dr. Engali's picture

I'm talking about getting past the warm up and into the main event.

RSloane's picture

This is worrisome because France has a rigorously controlled economy and argues strongly against either the management itself or the people doing the managing. They also have a population that is volatile and much more likely to have chaotic demonstrations which end in country-wide rioting and destruction of property. Given France's history of embracing a public that openly expresses their displeasure with behavior, it will be quite a daunting task to quell legions of young French people that have looked at their futures in the eyes and see nothing but a glassy stare in return. Large cities might not be the right place to be at this time.

centerline's picture

posturing/naming calling - then bitch slaps - then someone gets poked in the eye - then it is "on."

Do proxy wars count as bitch slaps?  Hmmm...

alangreedspank's picture

Sacrebleu! It's not unemployment, it's a forever continuing strike!

Doubledown201_'s picture

Hollande just hasn't taken the 'How to Manipulate Numbers and Figures' course taught by Obamas

alangreedspank's picture

Hollande sets the bar too high for his lowly number manipulation skills. How are you suppose to be able to handle it when proposing 75, 100% income taxes ?

falak pema's picture

the french have acquired a british stiff upper lip ever since they lost their own gallic fire of "let it rain shit we don't care...impossible ain't french!" 

Now they hedge their bets and say : our savings rates will allow us to protect the welfare state even if sonny boy stays at home and wanks on state assistance. We don't need him to make the next Quant derivative or next TGV! 

"We don't have a paradigm to combat globalisation....yet! But wait till we invent a hundred more cheeses then we will be number one again."

...Wine and cheese will save la France; along with Louis Vuitton suit cases...and Airbuses full of school teachers that nobody wants and we will donate to Tchad and Central Africa, as long term investment. France intends to DOUBLE its investment in Africa after having won the battle of Little big frog in MAli. What our troops can do with bullets our teachers can outdo with bulletins about how to count in Euros. By the time those kids learn to count in Euros, the Euro will be a dodo; and they will wait like us for Godot. But French honor will be safe! 

Ghordius's picture

falak my friend, have you ever been in Africa? France teaching Africa how to count in Euros?

France guarantees the two currencies collectively called the CFA franc. They are used in 14 African countries and they are currently pegged to the EUR, yet this is all at the discretion of the French Treasury minister

there is no paradigm to combat globalization. there is only a waiting time until the 5 countries that are so keen on it realize that they share the pain, too, not only the gains

falak pema's picture

just kidding Ghordius, I've lived there on and off over long periods and I know all about CFa (and its devaluation twice  as monetary arm).

Take that with a pinch of salt, it was tongue in cheek. 

I agree with your analysis about globalisation at macro level but right now the French don't know which way to look as Mr Montebourg does not think like Mr Moscovici and Mr Hollande does not do what he said he would and the guys in the opposition want more austerity than we already have. Meanwhile the french don't sell on export market and their small corporations are bleeding. Our business models in France are not well organised and we missed the train in 1999 at Nice summit when Schroeder proposed real economic realignment between the two countries; which Chirac/Jospin refused. We went the other way with 35 hour weeks and 60 year retirement age and no emphasis on govt. spending cuts and public cum private sector productivity gains...What Schroeder did achieve then we now have to try and adapt to the french economy. But a 'dirigiste' non decentralised culture, where Taxation is the Biggest economic weapon not private sector innovation, is a BIG handicap. Something has to change pretty pronto in Froggy land economic thinking IMO. You guys in Germany have been thru that loop once with Helmut (1 DM = 1RM) and that pain and then with Schroeder readjust. 

Swings n roundabouts but in dire circumstances!

Ghordius's picture

thought so. look falak, you know that I think that France is still the linchpin. and yes, the nation is depressed and with a quite clueless government, I agree

yet all this what we are witnessing will pass, too. the current external pressures are not sustainable. can't express it in a few words, so I'll leave it at this opinion

MFLTucson's picture

Unfortunately we will never know what it is in the US, every piece of finacial data is a fraud!

Azannoth's picture

The "solution" is Obvious to any Socialist, increase taxes to 95% and lower the retirement age to 50, done!

koperniuk666's picture

fuck em - i hate the french more than the chippy scots...

i'll be skiing Cortina this year hehe 

fuck Valdisere! 



youngman's picture

I have skied both...both are good....but yes the Italians do it better...

falak pema's picture

If you've skied Val to Tignes extensively and Chamonix to Courmayer and Vallée Blanche return; if you've skied from Val Thorens down to Meribel on to Courchevel then you've seen some of the best: on par with Austrian Alberg and Tyrol and MOrtiz - Val Gardena. 

Sounds like a ski brochure talking, must be 'cos Xmas is not far away. Didn't that guy have a sledge?

When I've made my million like Max Keiser on Bitcoins I'll do it again. 

One other thing : those ski runs fuck you, you never fuck them. For once it feels good getting it deep and into every fibre of body. 

youngman's picture

I thought the Frenchies were starting a war in Africa...they sent more troops down there....

Ghordius's picture

historically the Frenchies win their wars quickly (of course when they win)

this one is already won, the peace agreement was signed on June 18th, 2013 (the war started on January 16th, 2012). but don't expect the AngloSphere media to report on it much. It spoils the British "we are the better colonizers" meme and the American "Surrender Monkeys" meme

See wiki Northern Mali conflict

QQQBall's picture

Tax the rich moar... problem solved

Nue's picture

This is not true!. And for spreading false rumors. The Grand Council of French Socialist economic data compilers has fined you 10,000 euro's.


all-priced-in's picture

France just needs to raise their minimum wage by 35% - that should solve the unemployment issue.



virgilcaine's picture

If you Tax, Spend and Regulate enough eventually they all go away. The mysterious job creators.

hunglow's picture

I want to toast a young French model I think.

yogibear's picture

It's a recovery..... A recovery in unemployment.

They need to follow the US and cook their numbers.

Once unemployed for a while, take them out of the unemployed category and put them into the discouraged  worker category.

It's not about reality anymore it's all about perception and lies now.