French Jobless Claims Drop to One-Year Low as Recovery Holds Up

  • Number of Jobseekers posts biggest one-month drop in 15 years
  • Hollande indicates improvement, though not for everyone

French jobless claims dropped to their lowest in a year, suggesting the strongest economic growth since President Francois Hollande took office is starting to generate employment.

The number of people actively looking for work in France fell by 60,000, or 1.7 percent, to 3.53 million in March, the Labor Ministry said Tuesday in a statement.

The biggest monthly decline in joblessness in 15 years came after France’s economic recovery gathered pace in the fourth quarter. Coming on the same day as French military shipbuilder DCNS won a $39 billion contract to build 12 submarines for the Australian navy, the figures are good news for Hollande who has said he won’t seek re-election in spring 2017 unless there is a sustained drop in unemployment.

“Things are improving but not for everyone,” Hollande said Tuesday in a speech to the shipbuilder’s employees in Paris. “What’s important is to look ahead, remain hopeful and to give hope to those waiting for a better future.”

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