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Economy

Jobless rate in France stays at 10% as Bank of France predicts growth

media Job seeker at Pôle Emploi. File. Reuters/Eric Gaillard

France’s central bank on Thursday predicted that French growth will accelerate over the next two years, although the country’s statistics office, Insee, recorded a still-high jobless rate of 10 per cent for the first quarter 2015 - down only 0.1 of a point on the end of 2014.

The French central bank's projections are more optimistic than the government’s forecasts as it puts growth in 2015 at 1.2 per cent, rising to 1.8 per cent in 2016 and 1.9 per cent in 2017, while government forecasts growth at 1.0 per cent this year.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

A drop in the oil price, a lower euro exchange rate and the European Central Bank’s loose monetary policy explain the French central bank projections.

“Unemployment could [also] stabilise in 2015 and progressively drop from 2016,” it said, following Insee's jobless figures released on Thursday.

Pesident François Hollande has said he will not stand for reelection unless unemployment drops.

According to Insee, the jobless rate in France  in the first quarter 2015 was 10 per cent, compared to the 10.4 per cent record high reached in 2014.

The French statistic office reports 2.858 million unemployed (or 38,000 less than in 2014).

“Unemployment is far too high,” said civil service minister Marylise Lebranchu on Thursday, adding “we are confident that our stimulus policy will yield better figures”.

While the Insee jobless figures showed an improvement for the first quarter 2015, the French employment service Pôle Emploi recorded more than 3.5 million unemployed for the same time period.

That is because both indicators don’t measure unemployment in the same way.

Pôle Emploi measures the number of people registered as seeking employment, while Insee measures the number of people actively seeking a job.

That means the first-quarter unemployment drop might be due to unemployed people who did not find a job but are no longer registered as looking for work.

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