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French unemployment rises 0.7% in April to historic high

Philippe Huguen, AFP | A man enters a French employment agency on April 28, 2015, in the northern city of Lille.

Despite some modest signs of economic recovery, French unemployment figures climbed to a historic high of 3.53 million people in April, according to official figures released on Monday.

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Unemployment rose by 0.7 percent in April, meaning an additional 26,200 people joined jobless queues, France’s labour ministry revealed.

Labour Minister François Rebsamen announced that the government would offer 100,000 new subsidised work contracts in 2015 in response to the data, in addition to 450,000 similar contracts currently being offered.

The statistics were a fresh blow to the government of President François Hollande, a Socialist, who has pledged not to seek a second term in office in 2017 if he fails to reverse the upward jobless trend.

Last month France enjoyed better-than-expected quarterly growth figures, showing the economy grew by 0.6 percent. But Rebsamen warned that “a few months” of similar growth were needed before the economic pick-up “translates” into new jobs.

Since Hollande was elected president in 2012 he has seen the monthly jobless figures decline only four times, while 600,000 more people joined the ranks of the unemployed.

Of particular concern is the percentage of long-term unemployed, which has grown by more than 10 percent in a year.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

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