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France’s unemployment rate hits new high

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France’s Labor Ministry has announced that the unemployment rate in the country has hit a new high in November.

According to official statistics released on Wednesday, 3.488 million people claimed jobless benefits last month, with figures showing an increase of 27,400 people joining job-seekers ranks compared to October.

The new numbers for the end of November also indicated a 0.8-percent rise over October data and a 5.8-percent increase compared to the previous year.

France is grappling with economic woes, which are seen as the worst since French President Francois Hollande took power in May 2012.

France’s austerity policies have put its citizens under more financial pressure than ever. Sales taxes and retirement taxes have been raised, while massive cuts to social services have forced households to dip into their own pocket to cover for the government’s absence.

Eurozone’s second-largest economy also strives to reduce its public deficit, which is expected this year to be 4.4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and is only expected to fall slightly next year to 4.3 percent.

The percentage is far above the threshold of the three percent demanded by the European Union. France says it predicts that the deficit will not go below the threshold until 2017.


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