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French Jobless Tally Tops 3 Million: Minister

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.”

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