December 26, 2016 / 5:09 PM / 8 months ago

French jobless total falls for third straight month in November

A pedestrian walks past the entrance of a Pole Emploi (National Agency for Employment) office in Paris, France, December 26, 2016.Pascal Rossignol

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of people out of work in France fell to the lowest point in almost four years in November, dropping for the third month in a row, Labour Ministry data showed on Monday.

The ministry said 3,447,000 people were registered as unemployed in mainland France last month - the lowest figure since January 2013, down 0.9 percent from October and 3.4 percent from November 2015.

It is the first time since February 2008 that the jobless figure has fallen for three consecutive months, Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri said in a statement.

"This decline in unemployment is significant," Khomri said, noting that it came after eight years of almost uninterrupted rises in unemployment.

Unemployment has remained stubbornly high throughout the five-year term of President Francois Hollande, contributing to his record unpopularity.

Hollande, who had staked his political future on reversing the trend in unemployment, has decided not to seek a second term in next year's presidential election.

Speaking at an event in the north of Paris, Hollande said that the November jobless numbers were satisfactory but that there was still a long way to go.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Roche and Hugh Lawson

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