Unemployment in France rose again in February by 12,800 to a total of 3.494 million, and stands just a couple of thousand short of its December record.
The numbers of long-term unemployed rose, but there were fewer claimants in the under-25 age group.
The number of available unfilled jobs declined while job centres reported the average length of time spent out of work by claimants had increased.
If those partially unemployed or not available for full-time work are included along with claimants overseas, over five and a half million French people are drawing unemployment benefits of some kind.
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