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French jobless tops three million, minister says

The number of job seekers in France has surpassed the symbolic level of three million and will continue to rise, Labour Minister Michel Sapin said Sunday. France has struggled to tackle rising unemployment amid the European debt crisis.


AP - The number of French unemployed has broken through the 3-million barrier for the first time since 1999, the country’s leaders say.

The latest total adds pressure on President Francois Hollande, whose administration is under attack for doing not doing enough to fix the economy. France’s unemployment rate is currently 10 percent.

Breaking the 3 million mark carries more symbolic importance than economic but it was covered extensively in the French media over the weekend. The Ministry of Employment says the 3-million threshold was crossed in 1996 and again in 1999.

Employment Minister Michel Sapin confirmed the total on French radio on Sunday and warned that the numbers would likely get worse. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the numbers “very violent”. The government announced last week that it had counted more than 2.9 million unemployed people in July, so the threshold was expected to be passed in August.

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