Unemployment in France highest in 12 years

Joblessness rises to 2.9 million in first major challenge for new President Francois Hollande.

    French unemployment rose for the 12th month running in April, with the number of registered jobseekers up by 4,300 at 2.88 million, the labour ministry said.

    The figure, the first released since President Francois Hollande took office, showed a 0.1 per cent rise in those unemployed, down from a 0.6 per cent rise in March, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The data refers to a period during which former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy was still in office.

    The Socialist leader Hollande vowed to tackle rising joblessness during the election campaign that saw him defeat Sarkozy earlier this month.

    On June 7, the national statistics office Insee is to publish an unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2012, expected to be about 9.7 per cent of the workforce.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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