October 24, 2013 / 4:10 PM / 6 years ago

French jobless claims surge in September to record high

PARIS (Reuters) - French jobless claims rose in September by the highest margin since the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009, hitting a new record and dealing a blow to President Francois Hollande’s pledge to quickly reverse rising unemployment.

However, the Labour Ministry attributed the rise largely to the inclusion of some unemployed people omitted from the August figures due to a technical glitch.

Hollande has staked his economic credentials on securing a drop in unemployment by the end of the year. Most economists consider this unlikely, but the government is confident it can use state-subsidised jobs schemes to reverse the rising trend.

The number of people registered out of work in September rose by 60,000 to a new record of 3,295,700, representing a monthly increase of 1.9 percent and an annual rise of 8.1 percent, the ministry said.

The increase, the biggest since April 2009, wiped out a 50,000 decrease seen in August, which had represented the first fall in jobless claims in more than two years and the biggest in over six years.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas, editing by Gareth Jones

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