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Hollande’s jobless vow broken as claims hit new record

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-27

French jobless claims hit a new record in December, rising by 10,200, effectively crushing President François Hollande’s pledge to reverse the trend by the end of 2013.

Labour Ministry data showed on Monday the number of people registered as out of work in mainland France reached 3.3 million last month — the largest total since records have been kept, and representing an increase of 0.3 percent over one month and 5.7 percent over one year.

Hollande has struggled to kickstart activity in the eurozone’s second-biggest economy and thereby keep an oft-repeated promise to get unemployment falling by the end of last year.

Acknowledging that more needed to be done to get companies hiring, Hollande this month announced a more business-friendly policy shift with plans for corporate tax breaks in exchange for hiring commitments.

He promised to phase out by 2017 some 30 billion euros in charges companies pay to finance family benefits on condition that they accept targets for hiring and investing.

With the jobless rate at nearly 11 percent, Hollande’s failure so far to tame unemployment has driven his ratings to record low levels for a president in modern France.

The Labour Ministry stressed that there had been a clear slow-down in the rise of unemployment over the course of 2013, with new jobless claims each month much lower towards the end of the year than they had been at the start.

Some 177,800 people joined the jobless register last year, down from 283,800 in 2012, the ministry said.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-01-27

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