The French jobless total has hit an all-time high with 3.22 million people seeking work.
Following a wave of industrial lay-offs, the figure is the highest since 1997.
The number of days spent out of work has also beaten records at 485 days on average.
The news puts the government’s pledge to reduce unemployment by 2013 in question.
Though not as dire as neighbouring Spain, the number of jobless has contributed to an all-time low in President François Hollande’s popularity.
He has brought in a raft of measures in response such as subsidising contracts for low and unskilled young people, among whom unemployment hovers around 25 per cent. Hollande hopes that labour reforms and a 20 billion euros tax break for companies will get the French back to work.
But the OECD says that France can only create more jobs when the economy starts growing by more than one per cent.