The number of registered unemployed in France dipped by nearly 0.6 percent in April in what was the first time the jobless
rolls shrank for two consecutive months in the past five years.
At 3.51 million, the number of registered unemployed in mainland France also dropped on an annual comparison for the first time since the global economic crisis hit in 2008.
Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri said in a statement the drop was due to government incentives to boost hiring.
The news comes as French President Francois Hollande's government is pushing through parliament a law that would make it cheaper to hire and fire employees as well as modify wage and benefits deals, what it sees a necessary step to bring down the country's near 10-percent unemployment rate.
The proposed reforms have sparked a series nationwide demonstrations and strikes, including blockades of oil refineries that has led to shortages of petrol in some parts of the country.