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[PARIS] French unemployment rose sharply in August, reaching its highest level in years and dealing a serious blow to President Francois Hollande ahead of next year's election.
The number of unemployed in mainland France grew by over 50,000, or 1.4 per cent, to 3.56 million, according to the labour ministry.
The rise was the biggest in a single month since January 2013 and follows on a slight decrease in July.
The government said the jihadist attacks in Nice and Normandy in July, which led to a significant fall in tourism, were partly to blame.
The number of unemployed in all of France, including overseas territories, now stands at 3.81 million, the labour ministry said.
The figures are a further setback for the unpopular Hollande, who has said he will not stand for re-election April if he has not made a "credible" dent in unemployment.
Over the past year, the number of unemployed has fallen by only 10,900.
In the second quarter the unemployment rate was 9.6 per cent.