French unemployment more above million this year

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639,000 will join the jobless register this year France's longstanding problem with unemployment has only been magnified by the crisis.

Paris – Another 639,000 people will join France's jobless register this year, the agency charged with overseeing unemployment insurance predicted Tuesday, while 591,000 jobs will be destroyed.

The new estimates were based on the assumption that the French economy will shrink by three percent in 2009 amid the global slowdown, said UNEDIC, a partnership of state, unions and employers that manages the fund.

In February, UNEDIC reported that 3.3 million French people of working age were out of work and registered with the agency.

France had a longstanding problem of a high underlying rate of joblessness even before the crisis, and economists expect unemployment to pass 10 percent at the start of 2010, up from its current rate of just over 8.2 percent.

While UNEDIC joined the government in predicting that the recession will end in France in 2010, it confirmed that it expected a weak recovery and that another 137,000 workers would join the unemployment queue.

AFP / Expatica

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