Record unemployment in France for third consecutive month
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The number of people seeking employment in France hit a record high in April, with 3.53 million out of a job. The French economy, the second biggest in the eurozone, has struggled to shrug off sluggish growth figures since President François Hollande came to power.
It's a new blow for President Francois Hollande, who has staked his re-election bid on turning the job-market around.
But with unemployement figures in April up by 0.7% - the third time in three months - Hollande has so far failed to live up to his campaign promise of getting people back into work.
If last month, there were some encouraging signs of economic recovery with France posting better than expected quarterly figures, the recovery has been short-lived.
More than 3.5 million people were out of work in April, that is an extra 26,000 people compared to figures in March.
Since Hollande came to power three years ago, the unemployment figures have declined just four times with 600,000 more jobseekers getting added to the queue.
What is worrying is that the percentage of the long term unemployed has grown by more than 10 per cent in a year.
However, Labour minister François Rebsamen has downplayed the bad news, arguing that the economic growth of 0.6% recorded in the first quarter was stronger than the average of the Euro Zone area.
He added that it takes a period of several months before the economic pick-up translates into jobs.
However, the more people have to wait, the more Hollande's popularity ratings dwindle.
Shortly after the unemployment figures were released on Monday, the Socialist government announced emergency measures to increase youth employment contracts by 100,000.