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The French statistical office, Insee, has released the latest Q1 2013 unemployment figures, estimating unemployment in metropolitan France at 10.4%, compared with 9.6% a year ago. Taking into account France’s territories and islands, that unemployment figure increases to 10.8%.
With France is officially back in recession, following a -0.2% dip in GDP during the last quarter of 2012, Insee predicts that unemployment will reach 11% by mid-2013. Eurostat, the European statistics agency, using a different model already calculates France’s unemployment at 11%.
Following nearly two years of rising unemployment sitting at an estimated 3.2 million people out of work, President Francois Hollande has promised new and aggressive measures to reduce unemployment. However, economists at the OECD have predicted that the unemployment figures could surpass 11% in 2014.
It was only last week when the French Labour Ministry released new unemployment data, showing that the job market tightened further in April. 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.
Staffing firms have also witnessed worsening labour market conditions with large recruiters such as Adecco and Randstad continuously reporting revenue declines in the country.