PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande claimed on Thursday to have met one of his key election pledges - to reverse the upward trend in unemployment before the end of the year.
"The reversal of the upward unemployment curve has now started," Mr Hollande said in a statement after the release of official figures which showed the number of registered jobless in October fell by 20,500 from the previous month.
The number of registered jobseekers had risen to 3.29 million in September.
"An initial result has been achieved," Mr Hollande said. "It conforms to the pledge I had set for the end of this year."
"The statistics published today confirm that the battle for employment can maybe be won," he said. "It will take the necessary time, month after month, to reduce unemployment in France."