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The number of jobless people in France reached a record high of 3.26 million in April as the job market tightened further in the month, according to the latest figures by the Labour Ministry published on Thursday.
The number of category A job seekers (the fully unemployed) increased by +1.2% in April to 3,264,400 from the previous month. This represents an annual increase of +12.5%.
Unemployment in Europe’s second-largest economy has been steadily on the rise and, following massive job cuts in the industrial sector, is currently at the worst level since records began in 1996.
The news comes as a blow to French President Francois Hollande who has pledged to reverse a growing unemployment trend by the end of the year.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, he said: “Despite this data, despite what it means for many French people individually or for their family, I maintain the goal of reversing the unemployment trend by year-end.” He is pushing for policies to boost job creation, especially for young people as youth unemployment remains a major concern.
Economic growth in France is expected to remain sluggish this year, and the OECD recently warned that France can only create more jobs when GDP reaches at least 1%. Staffing firms have also witnessed worsening labour market conditions with large recruiters such as Adecco and Randstad continuously reporting revenue declines in the country.