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France – Joblessness hits 13-year high

27 September 2012

The labour market in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is slowing down and new figures now show that neighbouring country France is also impacted by a downturn in the jobs market.

Unemployment in August has topped 3 million, the first time since 1999, according to the latest figures by the labour ministry.

In the month, the number of people out of work rose by 23,900 to 3.011 million, a +9% increase from a year ago, also marking the 16th consecutive monthly rise.

“These three million unemployed embody the failure of economic and social policies undertaken during the last few years,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In the face of this difficult report, the government is determined to implement reforms as soon as possible,” it said.

But the outlook remains bleak. “There are almost one million more unemployed people compared with early 2008 and we can't yet say that we have reached the peak,” said Mathieu Plane, economist at the French Economic Observatory, to the Reuters news agency.

The French government recently announced plans to create 100,000 new jobs next year aimed at young people with low qualifications to tackle rising youth unemployment in the country.

The labour minister Michel Sapin earlier this month also criticised that temporary labour is causing job insecurity.

Planned labour reforms will look at employment contracts, in particular those related to temporary and fixed-term assignments. Mr Sapin wants to increase the levels of indefinite employment contracts as temporary work does not offer “stable” work.

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