The unemployment rate in France jumped to 8.7 percent in 2009's first quarter, up from the downgraded 7.6 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the figure is consistent with the European average.
AFP - France's unemployment rate shot up to 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, fresh data from the national statistics agency INSEE showed on Thursday.
"It's clearly a bad figure," Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on French radio. "There has been a deterioration in the job situation which is quite simply a consequence of a deterioration in the economic situation."
The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, she said, revising downward an earlier figure of 7.8.
The figures refer to mainland France, excluding overseas departments such as the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique which were crippled by weeks of strikes over pay earlier this year.
Including the overseas territories, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, according to INSEE.
France had a longstanding problem of a high underlying rate of joblessness even before the economic crisis, and economists have forecast that unemployment will pass 10 percent at the start of 2010.
Date created : 2009-06-04