French unemployment at new high

French unions protest against labour reforms in April Rising unemployment has caused discontent in France

The number of unemployed people in France rose to a fresh high last month, official data shows.

There are now some 3.2 million people seeking work in France, 11.5% more than a year ago and 1.2% more than in February, the labour ministry said.

The number of jobseekers is the highest since records began in January 1996.

The ministry does not express the jobseeker figure as a percentage of the work force, as done by the International Labour Organization.

But it did say the unemployment rate was 10.2% at the end of 2012, and current unemployment had not breached the 10.7% high seen in 1997.

Speaking earlier during a state visit to China, French President Francois Hollande said the government's priority was tackling France's rising unemployment.

"Everything the government does, in every ministry, must be to continue to strengthen the battle for jobs," he told a news conference.

"I want all the French people to unite behind this one national priority."

He has promised to reverse the rise in unemployment before the end of the year.

The figures underline the grave economic problems still haunting eurozone economies, after Spain earlier reported record unemployment amid its continuing recession.

More on This Story

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.