French jobless total hits a new record

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French jobless total hits a new record

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The latest jobless statistics for France show more people unemployed than ever before in the eurozone’s second-largest economy.

The Labour Ministry said in September the number of those out of work in mainland France rose by 0.6 percent from August and 4.3 percent from September last year.

The month-on-month increase was 19,200 for a total of 3,432,500.

President Francois Hollande has seen his popularity slump to the lowest since opinion polls began in France as he has failed to come good on promises to reduce unemployment, which is stuck above 10 percent of the workforce.

The September rise in the jobless total wiped out a slight fall in unemployment in August, a rare drop which was the first since October 2013.

The jobs numbers added to bad news coming one day after the latest Markit purchasing managers survey showed that France’s business downturn deteriorated in October, hitting an eight-month low.

Firms cut prices at the fastest rate since the global financial crisis in the face of weak demand, according to Markit.

The French government had been counting on a pick-up in business activity in the second half but has cut its 2014 economic growth estimate to 0.4 percent from 1.0 percent previously after the economy stagnated in the first half.

with Reuters