Last month France received more than 30,000 new registrations for unemployment insurance, a major jump which refutes the government’s claims that they had at least stabilized the unemployment rate. The number of unemployed workers continues to hit new records, and has risen for 32 of the last 33 months. The surprisingly depressing data arrives at a most inopportune for the ruling Socialists, as the final round of nationwide local elections will take place this Sunday. President Francois Hollande and the Socialist-controlled Parliament have had nearly two years to guide the economy, and they have no choice but to run on their results. Despite campaigning on promises to create jobs and clip the golden wings of high finance, Hollande has fully embraced austerity. His budget cuts to social services have reduced the quality of life for France’s poor and his no-strings-attached tax cuts for businesses have not prevented mass layoffs. Like many nations, France’s official unemployment rate – currently 10.2% - is not considered accurate. When the underemployed, out of benefits and unregistered youth are counted, France’s real unemployment rate is estimated at around 30%. Since Hollande has taken office some 420,000 workers have been laid off, and they are expected to punish their historically-unpopular president at the ballot box this Sunday.