The number of people out of work on France has risen to hit a new record. Figures from December showed just over 3.3 million were looking for work. That was a rise of 0.3 percent compared to November.
It is the largest total since records have been kept with some 177,800 joining the jobless ranks last year.
The latest data confirm a steady increase in the 12 months from December 2012 to December 2013 – a 5.7 percentage rise. There was an increase across all sectors including part-time workers. The unemployment rate now stands at nearly 11 percent.
The figures are a blow to President Francois Hollande’s hopes of keeping his oft repeated pledge to start lowering unemployment by the end of 2013. He has struggled to kick-start Europe’s second biggest economy and tame unemployment.
The Labour Ministry stressed there had been a clear slow-down in the rise of unemployment over the course of last year, with new jobless claims each month being much lower towards the end of the year than they had been at the start.