The number of people looking for work in France rose 0.8% in July to a new record of 3,424,400.
The sharp rise confirms a longer term trend with the number of jobless rising 4.3% over the last year.
President Francois Hollande has promised to kick start growth and create jobs.
But the economy has floundered, prompting a revolt against austerity by three left-wing ministers. Mr Hollande replaced them and named a new cabinet.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls had already warned that the latest figures for jobseekers would not look good.
However, he reached out to French business on Wednesday with a promise to speed up reform.
“France needs you,” he told the country’s main employers’ union, Medef. “I love companies!”
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