France’s unemployment rate rose to 10.4 percent in the third quarter. Economists had predicted a figure of 10.3 percent.

The data published by INSEE the national statistics office on Thursday showed the number of people out of work in metropolitan France climbed to 2.84 million from 2.76 in the previous quarter and 2.83 from a year ago.

The figure is the highest since the fourth quarter of 1997 when it was 10.6 percent.

The youth unemployment rate which applies to the 15-24 age group also rose. It climbed to 23.7 percent for the third quarter from 22.7 percent. The youth jobless figure totaled 635,000.