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Unemployment falls slightly

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16:39 CEST+02:00

France's unemployment rate fell slightly from 9.3 to 9.2 percent of the active population in the first quarter of 2011, the state statistics agency INSEE announced Wednesday.

This headline figure rises to 9.7 percent if France's overseas regions are included in the total, and is based on the International Labour Organisation's definition of those out of work and actively seeking employment.

In mainland France this represents an average of 2.618 million jobseekers over the first three months of the year.

The French economy grew by one percent in the same period, according to a previously released estimate, but the job market has yet to take off as the economic recovery tentatively gathers speed.

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