France's Unemployment Rate Just Climbed Back To Record Levels

French unemployment hit 10.4% in the third quarter of the year. That puts the rate back at its mid-2013 levels (when France was still officially in recession), wiping out a year’s modest progress in cutting jobless numbers.

Here’s how that looks:

It’s an eye-watering situation for France: though it’s not the hardest hit-country in Europe, while the UK and US unemployment rates have descended significantly, France’s is stubbornly high.

The US rate has dropped from nearly 10% at the end of 2009 to below 6%, while France has seen unemployment rise by about one percentage point over the same period. France’s unemployment rate has stayed high in large part because of its poor growth.

And according to recent business surveys, there’s not much joy on the horizon: France’s PMI came in at a nine-month low yesterday, suggesting the economy is in a mild recession.

Businesses are unlikely to hire for the future because conditions aren’t really expected to improve: without some sort of economic boost from government action or any sort of positive shock, this is the grim outlook that France is stuck with.

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