A stalled French economy continues to bleed jobs as another 45,100 job seekers joined the nearly 3.1 million French citizens already looking for work in October. The total number of unemployed French workers now stands at 3.103 million, the highest total since April 1998.
Job losses at Alcatel-Lucent SA (NYSE: ALU) and PSA Peugeot Citroen plan to cut thousands more jobs in the coming months. A threat to close two blast furnaces at an ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) steel plant in the Lorraine region has led to solid support for a temporary nationalization of the plant. The India-based firm would add 629 more people to France’s growing unemployment lines.
The latest OECD forecast for 2013 GDP growth in France is 0.3%, less than half the growth rate predicted by the French government. GDP growth in 2012 is pegged at 0.2% for this year. In the eurozone as a whole, GDP is forecast to contract by 0.4% in 2012 and another 0.1% in 2013.