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French Jobless Rate Unchanged in Third Quarter as Companies Wait to Hire

France’s unemployment rate was unchanged in the third quarter as employers hesitated over hiring more than a year after the country exited its worst recession since World War II.

The jobless rate held at 9.7 percent in the three months through September, Paris-based statistics office Insee said today. Economists expected a rate of 9.8 percent, a Bloomberg survey showed.

The unemployment rate has declined from a peak of 10 percent at the end of last year as companies ranging from car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroen to cosmetics maker L’Oreal SA began hiring. Even so, the limited gains highlight concerns about the strength of the rebound at a time when President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government is squeezing expenses and the global recovery is slowing.

Excluding French overseas territories, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.3 percent in the quarter, Insee said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Deen in Paris at markdeen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net

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