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French November Jobless Claims Rise 0.9% to Near 15-Year High

French jobless claims jumped to an almost 15-year high as a stalled economy prompted companies to trim payrolls and investment.

The number of people actively looking for work rose by 29,300, or 0.9 percent, in November to 3.133 million, the Labor Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement from Paris. Economists predicted an increase of 25,000, according to the median of three forecasts gathered by Bloomberg News.

The 19th straight monthly increase brings jobless claims to their highest since January 1998, increasing pressure on President Francois Hollande. His government has leaned on large companies to avoid lay-offs, and has cut social charges in a push to improve competitiveness.

“My objective is to make sure that unemployment, which has continuously increased for two years, starts to decline,” Hollande said earlier today during a visit to food market outside Paris.

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