French official unemployment rate is steady at 9.9 percent

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The French unemployment rate held steady in the first quarter but at a high rate of 9.9 percent, including people out of work in overseas territories, official data showed on Thursday.

The unemployment rate in mainland France alone was 9.5 percent, adjusted, estimated data from the official statistics institute INSEE showed.

Economy and Employment Minister Christine Lagarde said that the rate was steady for the first time since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008.

She said: "The rise of unemployment in France since the beginning of the crisis is slightly lower than in the eurozone, and markedly lower than in the United States."

© 2010 AFP

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