French jobless rate hits 13-year high

France's unemployment rate rose by 0.1 points to 9.9 percent in the third quarter to hit a 13-year high, the national statistics agency INSEE said on Thursday.

French jobless rate hits 13-year high

Calculated in accordance with International Labour Organization standards, INSEE estimated that 2.8 million people were unemployed in mainland France.

Including France's overseas territories, the jobless rate is 10.3 percent.

The unemployment rate among youths aged 15 to 24 jumped by 1.4 points over the quarter to 24.2 percent, while the rate among those over 50 edged up by 0.1 percent to 6.9 percent.

The steady rise in joblessness over the past five quarters has taken the unemployment rate to its highest since the third quarter of 1999.

Using another calculation method INSEE found that in the third quarter 3.6 million people in mainland France wanted to work including those who were not
actively looking for a job or were temporarily unavailable.
According to labour ministry data some 3.1 million people were registered to receive unemployment benefits in October.

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Swedish unemployment falls to below 8 percent

Sweden's unemployment rate dropped to 7.9 percent in February according to official statistics figures, down from 8.2 percent in the previous month.

The Statistics Sweden (SCB) figures reinforced the picture that the Swedish economy is recovering rapidly from the recession.

Some 392,000 were out of work, 55,000 fewer than in February 2010, SCB reported, continuing the recent downward trend and beating analyst expectations.

Over 4,557,000 people were in work during the month, up from 4,436,000 in the corresponding month of last year.

Youth unemployment, while remaining high, declined by 14,000 people to 147,000 in the month, corresponding to 24.2 percent of those aged 15-24-years-old.

Earlier this month the Swedish government raised its economic growth forecast for the year and said unemployment would shrink significantly, following the recent publication of strong statistics.

Finance Minister Anders Borg now expects Sweden’s gross domestic product this year to grow 4.8 percent, up from its previous estimate of 3.7 percent.

After suffering a deep recession during the global financial crisis, with its GDP shrinking 5.3 percent in 2009, Sweden’s economy has rapidly recovered, posting 5.5 percent growth in 2010.

After hitting a peak of 8.4 percent in 2010, unemployment is expected to sink to 7.4 percent this year, according to government estimates.