French Unemployment Hits 9.1 Percent

PARIS (AP) -- Unemployment shot up in France during the second quarter, according to figures released Thursday, and the country's top finance official said the situation will continue to worsen even if a global economic recovery gathers pace.

Unemployment in mainland France reached 9.1 percent in the second quarter, up 0.6 points from the first quarter of the year, French statistics agency INSEE said. It was the worst quarterly unemployment reading in France since early 2006, according to the agency.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the unemployment trend will continue to worsen "for a few quarters, because even a gradual economic recovery won't result in an immediate drop in unemployment."

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