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Sun Sep 2, 2012 6:12PM
An Unemployment and Job Center in France file photo

An Unemployment and Job Center in France file photo

The French Labor Minister has announced that the number of registered French jobseekers has passed the symbolic figure of three million. Michel Sapin said on Sunday that 2.99 million people were unemployed across the country in July and that the rate of unemployment had increased beyond that. "What will next year's unemployment rate be? Nobody knows. We have already hit three million. The numbers you are talking about, which are the numbers for July, are already outdated," he said. "The question is will it rise by very much? Yes, it will rise. At some point will we be able to reverse it? Yes," he added. The recent unemployment figure issued by Eurostat on Friday showed that France has been reeling from a 13-year-high jobless rate. The European nation has also faced huge job cuts, with big companies such as Peugeot Citroen, Alcatel, and Sanofi announcing thousands of job cuts over the past months. Meanwhile, due to the ongoing financial crisis in France, many other people working for small and medium enterprises were also dismissed more than ever. The rise in unemployment rate comes as socialist President Francois Hollande had vowed to create 80,000 subsidized jobs and hire 60,000 people in the education sector as well as to create a so-called "generation contract" to encourage companies to hire young workers. A recent opinion poll revealed that nearly 70 percent of people in France were pessimistic about the future of their country, amid the rising financial crisis in European nations. SAB/JR
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