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French jobless total ticks higher to new record: Labour Ministry

[PARIS] The number of unemployed people in France rose slightly higher in December to yet a new record high with few signs of improvement in the offing for the euro zone's second-biggest labour market.

The Labour Ministry said the number of people registered as jobless in mainland France rose by 8,100 last month to 3,496,400, up 0.2 per cent from November and up 5.7 per cent over one year.

Not only was there a record number of people unemployed, but they were spending a record amount of time jobless at 539 days on average in December.

Though the government expects growth to gradually pick up this year, the unemployment tally is set to keep rising in 2015 by upwards of 100,000, according to an estimate this month by the UNEDIC public-sector fund that manages jobless welfare benefits.

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President Francois Hollande has seen his popularity ratings drop to record lows as he failed to live up to promises to turn the job market around, though they have picked up following attacks this month by militant gunmen that killed 17 people.


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