French Unemployment Climbs in Blow to Hollande Re-Election Hopes

France’s unemployment rate increased in the third quarter, underlining President Francois Hollande’s failure to make good on a promise to generate jobs and dealing a blow to his prospects of winning a second mandate.

Ten percent of the workforce was seeking employment at the end of September, up from 9.9 percent in the quarter, national statistics office Insee said Thursday.

Hollande, whose popularity is close to a record low for all French presidents, has previously said that he needs to be able to show progress on joblessness in order to seek a second mandate. With the first round of the presidential vote looming on April 23 and competitors campaigns well underway, the Socialist incumbent has promised to state his intentions in the coming month.

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