Record 3.34 million unemployed in France, new figures

Queues at a job centre in France
Queues at a job centre in France Reuters/Eric Gaillard

The number of jobless in France surged by 0.9 percent in February to a new record of 3.34 million, the employment ministry said on Wednesday.


Last month 31,500 new jobseekers were registered and the employment ministry yesterday admitted a "marked progression" in unemployment.

The rise is likely to put increased pressure on President Francois Hollande. The overall number of jobseekers has increased by more than 420,000 since he took office in May 2012.

Hollande's Socialists are struggling to jumpstart France's stagnant economy and are expected to suffer major losses in the second round of municipal elections on Sunday.

The employment ministry vowed the government would "continue and intensify" its efforts to fight unemployment after the release of the latest figures.

But Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of the centre-right main opposition UMP party, said the figures were "yet another warning shot fired at the government".

He urged voters in Sunday's local elections to "punish" the government for "denying reality and refusing to hear the anger of the French people".

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