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France – Minimum wage increase planned for July as unemployment reaches 13-year high

27 June 2012

The newly formed Government under Socialist, François Hollande, who was elected as France’s President last month, announced yesterday that it will increase the hourly minimum wage from 1 July 2012 by 2% to €9.40.

The news comes at the same time as May’s unemployment rate which reached the highest level in almost 13 years. The number of jobless people rose by 33,000 from April to 2.922 million, confirming a “very negative trend”, the Ministry of Labour said yesterday.

The latest statistics show that unemployment rose by +1.2% from a month ago and was up +8.0% from a year ago. Unemployment in the country has been on the rise for 13 months in France. In April, for instance, the number of jobless people rose by 4,300 while March saw a more drastic rise with unemployment rising by 16,600.

“The figures confirm we're seeing a very negative trend that had been masked over the past few months by (...) the fact that a number of corporate layoff plans had been held back,” the Ministry of Labour said.

It also said that the Government is intending to act “vigorously” to deal with such “social emergencies” despite a tight budget. 

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