French joblessness up as Greece’s falls

City A.M. Reporter
FRENCH unemployment reached a 14-year high in the final three months of 2012, figures out yesterday showed, showing the challenge the government faces as it seeks to make good on a goal to reverse the upward trend by the end of the year.

The rise in unemployment to 10.6 per cent is the sixth consecutive quarter of increase in the jobless rate in the Eurozone’s second largest economy, which contracted 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of last year, International Labour Organisation figures showed.

Greece, meanwhile, posted its first fall in unemployment since the sovereign debt crisis broke out.

Unemployment in the debt-choked nation dropped to 26.4 per cent from a revised, record 26.6 per cent a month earlier, state statistics service ELSTAT said.

This rate still remains the euro area’s highest and is more than twice the bloc’s average unemployment reading of 11.8 per cent but was the first time it had fallen since May 2008.