ROUNDUP: Some 80,000 jobs lost in France in February

Some 80,000 jobs lost in France in February Paris  - The French labour market shed nearly 80,000 jobs in February, the Labour Ministry announced on Wednesday.

As a result of the tenth consecutive monthly rise in French unemployment, more than 2.38 million active job-seekers are now registered as unemployed in France.

The announcement follows France's worst-ever monthly increase in unemployment in January, when more than 90,000 new jobless were registered.

The French government is predicting the loss of some 300,000 jobs for 2009, but many observers feel that this forecast is far too optimistic.

The weekly Le Canard Enchainee reported Wednesday that President Nicolas Sarkozy is saying privately that as many as 1 million jobs could be lost this year.

According to the government's statistics office Insee, French unemployment stood at 8.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. (dpa)

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