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French unemployment rises by highest rate since 2013

AFP archive | Unemployment will be a central issue in regional elections taking place at the beginning of December

The number of unemployed in France rose by 42,000 in October from September to reach 3,589,800, the biggest monthly rise in two years, the Labour Ministry said Thursday.

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The increase was 1.2% on the month and 3.7% on the year.

The sharp climb in the number of unemployed in France casts doubt over the strength of the economic recovery in the eurozone's second-largest economy.

"These figures are not satisfying," said Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri in a statement.

She added however that they "must be interpreted with care because the results of the past few months have had major variations."

In September, the number of registered unemployed had a net decrease of 23,800, and that was the biggest drop since the financial crisis in late 2007.

'Hope for better 2016'

"Since the beginning of the year, the increase in the number of people looking for work remains much less than that of 2014," the minister said.

The Labour ministry said it is looking for the jobless number to stabilize by the end of year and hopes it will begin to fall in 2016.

President Francois Hollande has staked his political future on reducing unemployment, saying he will not stand for re-election in 2017 unless he begins to bring down unemployment that has been on the rise for the better part of a decade.

The disappointing data could not have come at a worse time for the Socialist governement, with key regional elections looming in December.

Profile: Emmanuel Macron
Profile: Emmanuel Macron

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

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