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French jobless total hits new record putting more pressure on Hollande

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French jobless total hits new record putting more pressure on Hollande

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The number of people out of work in France surged in February.

The total of job seekers jumped by 31,500, hitting a new record.

It was a 0.9 percent increase from the previous month and up by 4.7 percent from February last year.

Unemployment at 10.2 percent of the workforce is a big blow to President Francois Hollande’s government during local elections.

Local elections go to a second round of voting on Sunday. Hollande’s Socialist party was punished in a first round last Sunday in part over voter frustration over the jobs market.

His poll ratings have slumped as he has failed to come good on a promise to cut unemployment by the end of last year.

Hollande’s government has said it will stick with economic reforms and spending cuts, including a plan to phase out 30 billion euros in payroll tax on companies in exchange for hiring more.