3.29mn jobless in France in September: Labor Ministry

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France’s Labor Ministry says the number of unemployed people has reached a record high of 3.29 million in September.

In a Thursday statement, the ministry said that the number of registered jobseekers in the eurozone’s second-largest economy increased by 60,000 last month.

The increase is represented an 8.1 percent rise over a year ago.

According to Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, France’s unemployment rate stands at 11 percent.

The figures are considered as a major challenge for Socialist President Francois Hollande, who has pledged to curb the unemployment rate to a single-digit figure by December this year.

Jean-Francois, who has been out of work for a year, said outside a government employment center in Paris that, “There’s nothing suggesting a recovery’s underway and it’s still very difficult to find a job.”

France is one of a few rich-world economies with a double-digit unemployment rate, others being eurozone members Spain and Italy, along with South Africa.

The country has not only been hit with record high number of unemployed but it is also struggling with a worsened economy as it has barely grown in more than two years.

In an attempt to lower the country’s huge debt load, Hollande’s government has increased taxes and implemented several reforms and spending cuts; however, the measures have proven unproductive since the financial crisis in the eurozone has not been resolved and the 17-member bloc is still bogged down in recession.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

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