France optimist about raising employment soon

Paris, Jan 29: The French government has played down a fresh rise in unemployment that dashed its hopes to bring down the joblessness last year, with French Labour Minister Michel Sapin saying trend reversal would happen in “few days” or “few months”.

“We have not reached the goal. Global unemployment curve was not inverted. But, we are on the verge of doing so. Is it time to give up? No,” reported Xinhua citing the minister on a radio channel Tuesday.

On Monday, the labour ministry data showed a 0.3 per cent rise in the number of people without work in the French mainland to reach 3.303 million last month.

On yearly basis, the joblessness rate grew by 5.7 per cent, breaking President Francois Hollande’s promise to overturn the rampant unemployment trend by the end of 2013.

“It is time to strengthen our political, to accelerate and to turn on all engines. This goal is achievable … It seems in the comments that everything would have been missed … No. We are on the verge of it, a few days maybe a few months,” the minister said.

In its recent economic survey, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expected France’s unemployment rate to stand at 10.8 per cent this year compared to 10.6 per cent expected in 2013 and to 9.8 per cent recorded in 2012.

IANS