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France's positive jobs data was down to a 'bug'

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France's positive jobs data was down to a 'bug'
A computer malfunction was behind the positive jobseeker figures released last week. Photo: The Local
08:20 CEST+02:00
When France released figures last week revealing the number of jobless people had fallen for the first time in two years in August, they were met with a certain amount of scepticism. It turns out the sceptics were right all along.

France's labour ministry cut in half on Monday, the number of jobseekers it said had left the unemployment rolls in August, blaming a "malfunction" with a mobile phone company.

The ministry announced last week that the number of registered jobseekers in France fell in August for the first time in more than two years, dropping by 50,000 to 3.23 million.

But in a fresh statement on Monday, the ministry said that after an investigation it was revising the figure and the number of jobseekers had fallen by only between 22,000 and 29,000.

"A malfunction attributable to (mobile telephone) operator SFR, which was acting as a service provider... has been identified," it said.

SEE ALSO: Top tips - Being unemployed in France

The malfunction meant that some jobseekers did not renew their registration because they did not receive reminders managed by SFR.

The ministry said the mistake did not diminish the significance of the turn-around in unemployment.

"This remains the first decrease in 27 months and the most significant since December 2007," it said.

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