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    French jobless total hits new record putting more pressure on Hollande

    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

    The number of people out of work in France surged in February.

    The total of job seekers jumped by 31,500, hitting a new record.

    It was a 0.9 percent increase from the previous month and up by 4.7 percent from February last year.

    Unemployment at 10.2 percent of the workforce is a big blow to President Francois Hollande’s government during local elections.

    Local elections go to a second round of voting on Sunday. Hollande’s Socialist party was punished in a first round last Sunday in part over voter frustration over the jobs market.

    His poll ratings have slumped as he has failed to come good on a promise to cut unemployment by the end of last year.

    Hollande’s government has said it will stick with economic reforms and spending cuts, including a plan to phase out 30 billion euros in payroll tax on companies in exchange for hiring more.