The number of people out of work in France rose for the 22nd month in a row in February and the total jumped by 10.8 percent from the same month last year.
With plant closures and layoffs being reported almost daily, the chances are rising that France will soon break the previous record of just under 3.2 million jobseekers reached in January 1997.
It all piles pressure on President Francois Hollande who was elected pledging to boost jobs and create growth.
Economists say that is mission impossible and those close to the socialist head of state are now talking about how it would be a success to stabilise the number of jobseekers.
Labour ministry data showed on Tuesday that the number of registered jobseekers in mainland France in February rose by 18,400 from January, or 0.6 percent, to 3.188 million.
The ministry’s data is the most frequently reported domestic jobs indicator for France, although it is not prepared according to International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards nor expressed as a percentage of job seekers in the work force.