• France's news in English

Unemployment rate hits 9.8%

Matthew Warren · 1 Mar 2012, 09:18

Published: 01 Mar 2012 09:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

France's unemployment rate came close to 10 percent in the final quarter of 2011, reported national statistics agency INSEE on Thursday.

The official rate reached 9.8 percent, up from 9.7 in the previous three months.

Exclusing France's overseas territories, the rate was 9.4 percent.

French unemployment reached a 12-year high of 2.86 million people in January.

Despite the increase in the number of jobless, employment minister Xavier Bertrand insisted that France had been able to "withstand the global economic crisis better than our major partners."

He cited Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom as countries that had not fared as well.

The Spanish unemployment rate his 22.8 percent in January, while the UK rate was 8.4 percent.

Although the UK rate is lower than France, Bertrand said OECD figures showed the growth had been higher in all three countries between mid-2007 and the end of 2011.

He said unemployment had grown by 19.7 percent in France in that period, versus 65 percent in the UK, 35 percent in Italy and 183 percent in Spain. 

Youth unemployment was up to 22.4 percent in the final quarter of the year, meaning almost one in four young people are looking for work.

A new opinion poll published on Thursday found that more people had confidence in Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande to deal with unemployment than incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy.

57 percent thought Hollande was more credible to fight unemployment than the 30 percent who favoured Sarkozy.

Overall, 54 percent thought Hollande had "more convincing measures on economic matters," said the survey, versus just 35 percent for the president.

The survey was carried out for BFM TV and Challenges magazine. 


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available