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French jobless total surges in August by most in three years


PARIS (Reuters) - France's jobless total surged in August by nearly the most in three years, dealing a blow to President's Francois Hollande's hopes of turning around the labor market in the approach to next year's presidential election.

The number of people registered as out of work in mainland France jumped by 50,200 to 3,556,800, up 1.4 percent from July and down 0.3 percent year-on-year, the Labour Ministry said in its monthly report on joblessness.

The increase was the steepest since September 2013 and brought the total closer to a record 3.59 million reached in February.

Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri said the tourism sector in particular had suffered after an Islamist militant drove a truck into a crowd in Nice in July, killing 86 people.


With Hollande trailing in the polls seven months before the election, the increase is another stain on the president's economic record, marred by low growth and high unemployment.

Hollande has given strong hints that he intends to run for re-election, while insisting that he would do so only if unemployment can be brought onto a convincingly downward trend.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Laurence Frost)