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French unemployment down to 2012 level
French unemployment has fallen to its 2012 level, according to figures published on Thursday that showed 2.65 million people out of work in mainland France.
Unemployment in the second quarter of 2017 fell by 0.1 of a percentage point to 9.2 percent, according to statistics institute Insee.
With overseas territories included, it stood at 9.5 percent.
Insee had not forecast a decline in the figure, expecting it to remain stable in the second quarter than fall later in the year.
The year-on-year decline is 0.5 percent.
Youth unemployment did not improve in the second quarter, however, rising 0.9 percent to 22.7 percent.
But it has fallen 1.1 percent over the year.
Hollande's record on jobs
Former president François Hollande may receive the news with mixed feelings.
He declined to stand again on the grounds that he had not kept his promise to reverse the rise in joblessness.
Earlier figures, notably those of the employment service, seemed to show he had failed to do so.
Insee's latest figures show that unemployment peaked in mid-2013 and started to drop in 2016, although that was three years later than the date by which Hollande initially promised to reverse the trend.