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French job market is 'stabilising'

Number of jobseekers fell in April but households say they are pessimistic about the future of the French economy

UNEMPLOYMENT in France has fallen slightly for the first time in 10 months - but a new survey has found people are more pessimistic about the future of the economy than ever before.

The number of people out of work and seeking a job fell 0.2% in April compared with the previous month, at 2.66 million, according to official figures from the Employment Ministry.

This figure takes into account everyone who is registered at the Pôle Emploi.

The overall total, including the long-term unemployed and those whose working hours have been cut, was up 0.5% at 3.89 million.

Youth unemployment fell 0.5% nationwide in April, but continued to rise in some northern regions, Normandy, Picardy and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

There has also been a sharp rise in unemployment among over-50s, which has climbed by 21.2% over the past year.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said there were signs that the jobs market in France was "stabilising".

However the latest Insee survey of French households, published this morning, has found optimism for the future is at its lowest level since the poll began 32 years ago.

It found families were continuing to tighten their belts and were expecting their quality of life to get worse before it got better.

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