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Number of unemployed in France hits record 3.46 million

Philippe Huguen, AFP | Waiting at Pole Emploi, the French unemployment office

More people were unemployed in France in October than ever before, data released Thursday showed, highlighting continued weak activity in the eurozone's second-largest economy.

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The Labour Ministry said the jobless total in mainland France rose by 28,400 to 3,460,900, a 0.8 percent increase over one month and 5.5 percent over one year.

President François Hollande has seen his popularity fall to the lowest ratings in French polling history, with a key factor being his failure to live up to promises to tackle unemployment.

The jobless increase in October was the biggest monthly rise since February, when the total rose by 31,500. It came after a rise in September which wiped out a slight fall in unemployment in August.

The French government had been counting on a pick-up in business activity in the second half but has cut its 2014 economic growth estimate to 0.4 percent from 1.0 percent previously after the economy stagnated in the first half.

Earlier, a report by leading economists jointly commissioned by the French and German governments suggested shaking up the rigid French labour market as part of a pro-growth reform package also advocating higher German public investment.

(REUTERS)

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