PARIS – The number of jobless people in France rose for the fifteenth consecutive month. Figures show that the unemployment rate has reached its highest in over 13 years. Clearly bad news for the French economy this indicates that it has reached the point of stagnation.
The data released by the Labor Ministry showed the number of registered jobseekers in France rose from 41,300 people last month to 2.987 million. This is considered to be the largest monthly increase since the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
The total number of unemployed was the highest since June 1999 where the monthly increase was between 1.4% and 8.5% annually. The current ratings do not include the wave of threats of future layoffs in companies like Peugeot and Carrefour .
President François Hollande has suffered a decline in popularity since coming to power in May. His office is struggling to live up to campaign promises to reduce persistently high unemployment amid a wave of layoffs in recent weeks .
The Labor Ministry said in a statement that the figures only reinforce the government’s determination to promote measures to encourage hiring. Last Wednesday, the government presented a bill to create 150,000 jobs sponsored by the State. The initiative will be debated in Parliament on September so that the law could come into force in January.
With a growing number of companies announcing plans of cutting back on their manpower, the government is also struggling to limit the damage on a case by case basis.
Minister of Industry, Arnaud Montebourg, said in an interview last Sunday that he will discuss union reports of Carrefour’s plans to make hundreds of layoffs. However, the government has so far found few solutions to prevent companies from making job cuts. This is even after last month’s announcement that Peugeot will cut 8,000 jobs in France by 2014 caused alarms in the office.
Other sources of data also showed that the number of job offers received by the state agency employment fell 7.7% in July from June, the biggest drop since January 2009.