French jobless rate hits highest level since 1999

May 30, 2012 12:00 AM

New figures show French jobless rate has increased, marking the twelfth month in a row that unemployment has gone up in the country. France had more people seeking jobs in April than any time in this century, the Labour Ministry said, adding that it expects more layoffs in the coming months.
Registered jobless figures in France climbed from 4,500 to 2.89 mm, the highest since September 1999, the ministry stated.

It was the first time that the Labour Ministry commented on the issue since new Socialist President Francois Hollande named an interim government in mid-May. The ministry added that apparently during an election period corporate layoff plans had been held back by authorities.
"The government is fully mobilized in the face of layoff plans that have been announced or on the way in coming months," the ministry added.

French households are struggling to make ends meet, and new trends are emerging with temporary jobs on the rise because full-time jobs are becoming scarcer.
In his election campaign, Hollande promised to create thousands of state sector jobs and to lighten up the country’s austerity measures.

Pundits say that subsidies, or alternatively, reductions in social security contributions targeted at low-skilled youth and smaller firms could help the efforts to boost employment.
Europe was hit by a serious financial crisis in 2008 and the situation has intensified over the past few months.

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