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French unemployment figures deal new blow to Hollande

media French President François Hollande promised to stop the rise in unemployment by the end of 2013 Reuters/Thibault Camus

Unemployment in France rose 17,800 in November, up five per cent, despite President Francois Hollande promise to stop the rise in joblessness by the end of the year. But if those working part time or on short time are added to the statistics, the total fell by nearly 7,000, as ministers were quck to point out.

After a slight fall in October, the number of registered job-seekers rose again to 3.29 million, close to the record reached earlier in the year.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

But total unemployment and underemployment stood at 4.87 million, down 6,900, leading Labour Minister Michel Sapin to claim that the trend is still downwards.

Youth unemployment, down one per cent in November, continued to fall.

Economists are waiting for the last quarter's figures before making a final judgement, but national statistics institute, Insee, predicts only feeble growth and unemployment of 11 per cent at the beginning of 2014 with a new rise in the jobless figures in the middle of the year.

"November's unemployment figures offset October's but they don't change the tendency," Hollande said in a statement. "The reversal of the upward trend in unemployment, which I promised, has begun."

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