by Daniel Flynn and Brian Love
(Reuters) – The number of unemployed in France topped the 3 million mark in August for the first time since 1999, its labor minister said on Wednesday, adding to President Francois Hollande’s woes as he seeks to revive a stalled economy and his tumbling poll ratings.
Michel Sapin said August’s unemployment data, due at 12 noon EDT (1600 GMT) on Wednesday, would show a 16th consecutive monthly rise and blamed former President Nicolas Sarkozy for increasing insecurity in the jobs market.
“It’s bad. It’s clearly bad,” Sapin told France 2 television. “But this is the result of a policy: in reality, these 3 million unemployed were here when we arrived in office.”