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France's jobless figure rises in May

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10:24 CEST+02:00

For the first time this year, the unemployment rate in France edged up in May, according to new statistics.

The figures, released on Tuesday, showed an increase in the number of registered jobseekers of 17,700.

The figure was up 0.7 percent from April and 0.3 percent from a year before. The total jobless figure is now 2.7 million and the overall rate stands at 9.2 percent.

The figures were worse for the under-25s, where an increase of 1.3 percent was recorded. At the other end of the age scale, the over-50s saw a 0.9 percent rise.

The news comes at a bad time as President Nicolas Sarkozy tries to boost his low approval rating in the polls.

He announced a series of measures on Monday designed to boost higher education, industry and research.

The Employment Minister, Xavier Bertrand, said in a statement that the overall unemployment rate had still dropped overall since the start of the year.

He added that “the figures for May mean we will redouble our efforts to reduce the number of unemployed.”

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