French jobless claims rose to the highest in almost 13 years in June as stalling growth prompted companies to trim payrolls.
The number of people actively looking for work rose by 23,700, or 0.8 percent, to 2,945,800, the Labor Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement from Paris. That’s the highest since August 1999. Three economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expected claims of between 2.937 million and 2.957 million.
Faced with a sovereign debt crisis in its third year, governments across Europe are trying to reduce budget deficits, lowering demand for French goods and services at home and abroad. Companies ranging from carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen to airline Air France-KLM Group have reduced staff.
“Faced with this situation, the government is entirely mobilized to respond to this social urgency,” the Labor Ministry said in a statement today.
The French government today announced a plan to boost the car market that includes 490 million ($560 million) of incentives to buy low-emission cars, as well as support for research into new technologies. Peugeot plans to cut 8,000 jobs and close a factory on the outskirts of Paris. Employment by French car builders has fallen 30 percent in the past 10 years.
France’s economy didn’t expand in the first quarter and the Bank of France estimates that it may shrink in the second quarter. The nation’s unemployment rate stood at 10 percent at the end of the first quarter,also its highest since 1999.
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