French unemployment has risen to 10.6 per cent in the third quarter - higher than forecast and the first time it has been higher than the Eurozone average since 2007.
Unemployment had been expected to come in at 10.4 per cent, but figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) showed worse-than-expected data for metropolitan France and overseas departments.
The number of jobless in France is now at a 20-year high.
In metropolitan France only, the number of unemployed has risen by 75,000 to 2.9m.
It increased across all age groups, but younger people were worst affected.
The news will present a major headache for incumbent President Francois Hollande, who is planning to pin his re-election hopes on financial security and job growth.