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French second quarter unemployment rate falls to 8.5% from 8.7% in quarter one

French second quarter unemployment rate falls to 8.5% from 8.7% in quarter one
FILE PHOTO: People walk on the esplanade of La Defense in the financial and business district of La Defense, west of Paris, France March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes -
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GONZALO FUENTES(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – France’s unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in the second quarter from 8.7% in the first, according to data from the INSEE national statistics office, marking the lowest jobless rate in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy since the end of 2008.

Six economists polled by Reuters had forecast on average an unemployment rate of 8.7% for the second quarter.

A steady improvement in the jobs market has offered French President Emmanuel Macron some relief in the face of months of street protests against government policies often criticised for favouring the wealthier members of society.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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