French Jobless Claims Rise, Dimming Hollande Recovery Hopes

French jobless claims increased in May, highlighting the fragility of the recovery promised by Francois Hollande ahead of next year’s presidential election.

The number of people actively looking for work climbed by 9,200, or 0.3 percent, to 3.52 million, the Labor Ministry said Friday in a statement. It followed two months of declines.

The increase came in a month that French unions blocked ports and refineries to protest changes to labor law that would cut overtime pay and give executives more power in wage bargaining. Together with a drop in business confidence reported this week, it suggests that growth may slow in the second quarter.

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