The figure jumps to 5.48 million when part-time workers looking for full-time jobs are included, also a new high, the ministry said.
However, last year's 2.6 percent increase in job seekers was the smallest rise since 2010, it said.
Unemployment among youths under 25 years of age decreased last year by four percent over 2014, while joblessness among the over 50s jumped 8.4 percent.
Figures for the long-term unemployed worsened, with 2.47 million people on the books for more than a year, a 9.5 percent increase over 2014.
The average time spent formally looking for work was 19 months, the ministry said.
President Francois Hollande this month announced €2.0 billion in measures to tackle what he called a “state of economic emergency”.