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French Jobless Claims Rise as Firms Shrink With Stalling Growth

French jobless claims rose to the highest in 13 years in July as stalling growth prompted companies to trim payrolls.

The number of people actively looking for work rose by 41,300, or 1.4 percent, to 2,987,100, the Labor Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement from Paris. That’s the highest since August 1999. Four economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected claims of between 2.960 million and 2.975 million.

The French economy has failed to expand for three straight quarters as a sovereign debt crisis in its third year prompts governments to squeeze budget deficits, lowering demand for French goods and services at home and abroad.

PSA Peugeot Citroen and Air France-KLM Group are among the French companies that have announced tens of thousands of job cuts in recent months.

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