French Unemployment Rises to 15 Year High

French unemployment rose to 10.8% in the first quarter of the year – its highest level since 1998, official estimates have shown.

The jobless rate grew from 10.5% in the last quarter of 2012, the official Insee statistics agency said.

The French economy went into a recession after seeing GDP fall by 0.2% in the first quarter.

President Francois Hollande has pledged to boost jobs and growth, but demand has been sapped by the eurozone crisis.

According to Eurostat, the European statistics agency, which uses a slightly different measure, the jobless rate has already reached 11%.

The figures came as the European Central Bank (ECB) prepared to meet later, when it is expected to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%.

There has been speculation that the central bank will unveil plans to revive lending in the eurozone, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

via BBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza