Shock drop in unemployment brings hope

For the first time in 14 months, the number of those claiming unemployed benefit in France dropped by 18,600 in June – the equivalent of a 0.7% decrease in claimants, indicating that the recession may well have hit its peak.

The drop follows a slowdown in the rate of unemployment in May, when 34,600 new claimants signed on.

The government is exercising caution in celebrating these figures, however, the French minister of the economy, Christine Lagarde, said that it was an encouraging sign’ but warned that: “The situation will remain difficult in months to come”.