France’s jobless rate rose further in the last three months of 2012 to its highest since the second quarter of 1999, showing the challenge the government faces as it seeks to make good on a goal to reverse the upward trend by the end of the year.
The rise in unemployment to 10.6 percent is the sixth consecutive quarter of increase in the jobless rate in the euro zone’s second largest economy, which contracted 0.3 percent in the final three months of 2012.
Economists polled by Reuters forecast an even bleaker picture in the months to come, with unemployment seen hitting an all-time high of 11.3 percent by the start of 2014.
The headline figure, based on the measurement criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), was up 0.3 percentage points from the third quarter. It includes unemployment in mainland France and overseas territories.
The unemployment for mainland France alone was 10.2 percent.
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