- Title: French jobless total dips, setting stage for Hollande election bid
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: VILLAROCHE, FRANCE (FILE) (REUTERS) EMPLOYEE AT WORK AT FRENCH AEROSPACE ENGINE MAKER, SNECMA EMPLOYEE SECURING SCREWS SNECMA FACTORY VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES AT WORK AT SNECMA FACTORY
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 17:00
- Keywords: Hollande jobless election unemployment France
- Location: PARIS, SAINT-NAZAIRE AND VILLAROCHE, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, SAINT-NAZAIRE AND VILLAROCHE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00359T0ITJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: France's jobless total eased back slightly in October to a two year low, Labour Ministry data showed on Thursday (November 24), giving support to President Francois Hollande's pledge to turn the labour market around.
With the latest fall in the jobless tally, Thursday's report sets the stage for Hollande to launch a bid for re-election ahead of a mid December deadline despite doubts in his own party about his chances of winning.
The deeply unpopular Socialist leader has said he would not run in next year's presidential election unless unemployment started falling convincingly.
The Labour Ministry said the number of people registered as unemployed in mainland France stood at 3,478,800, down 0.3 percent over a month and 2.8 percent over one year.
That brought the total to its lowest level since October 2014.
Parisians were divided in their reaction to the unemployment results. Passer-by Jascques Wittass, who votes on the right, said the labour results would not change his stance over Hollande.
"I don't think he has had the stature of a president, he hasn't communicated like a president. He doesn't behave like a president. That's why I wouldn't vote for Hollande, it's not because he has worked miracles or not over unemployment," he said.
Centre-ground voter Marie-Andree Anquez said she expected Hollande to run for a second term, adding he was likely to want to benefit from the jobless announcement.
Left-wing voter Benjamin Savatofski said he was "lost" over whether he would vote for Hollande.
"I think maybe the figures will be reversed, but the numbers can be toyed with. And as for Hollande, I no longer wanted to vote for him. But it's true, seeing his results, I don't know anymore, I'm lost. I would vote for Hollande, as opposed to Fillon. But two weeks ago I said, never again Hollande. But versus Fillon, I would vote for Hollande if he runs, despite everything," he said.
Hollande - whose popularity rating fell as low as 4 percent in one recent opinion poll - is expected to say near the end of the first week of December if he intends to seek another five-year term.
Despite a choppy but steady improvement in the jobless numbers in recent months, the jobless total stands 630,100 higher now than when Hollande took office in May 2012.
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