A “new record” is not always a good thing. According to a Wednesday report released by the French Labor Ministry, France is now seeing record high unemployment numbers with a record 3.364 million people looking for work.
Economists predicted an estimated rise in unemployment of about 5,500 citizens. It turns out their estimates were quite off, as jobless individuals increased almost three times the predicted number, with 14,800 citizens freshly unemployed.
Over the past month, France’s unemployment increased 0.4 percent. This past year, it has risen by 3.5 percent. Total unemployment is now over 10 percent.
Socialist President Francois Hollande came to power after making campaign promises to drastically reduce unemployment. His method of doing so: a 75% tax on the country’s wealthy citizens. Not only did the tax policy backfire, it also created a massive loss in government revenue (if the Laffer Curve could speak, it would say, “I told you so”). Hollande now has 14 billion dollars less to work with in his annual budget, largely due to his failed projections of what he thought the government would receive from taxing the wealthy.
A recent poll showed Hollande’s approval rating is now at 18%.
In France, the legal length of the work week is 35 hours. Unemployment benefits claimants may receive payments for up to 1,095 days.