French Jobless Claims Decline for Second Time in Two Years

French jobless claims dropped in October in a boost to President Francois Hollande, who has pledged to reverse a rise in unemployment before year end.

The number of people actively looking for work in France fell by 20,500, or 0.6 percent, to 3.275 million in October, the labor ministry said today in an e-mailed statement.

Claimants peaked at a record 3.296 million in September, the result of a rise in joblessness that began in May 2011 and lasted for 27 consecutive months as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis plunged the region into recession. Hollande cautioned earlier today that achieving a sustainable decline in unemployment will take time.

“It’s a month-by-month battle,” Hollande said at a press conference near Paris. “It will require time.”

The number of jobless claims also slid in August.

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