PARIS (Reuters) - The number of people out of work in France rose by a further 8,900 in January to reach a new record, as President Francois Hollande's goal of taming unemployment eluded him yet again.
Labour Ministry data showed on Wednesday that the number of people registered as out of work reached 3,316,200 in mainland France, up 0.3 percent over a month and 4.4 percent over a year.
Hollande's popularity has plummeted to record lows. He struggled and ultimately failed to live up to a pledge to get unemployment falling by the end of last year in the face of a weak recovery in the euro zone's second-biggest economy.
With that promise in tatters despite at least two billion euros (1.64 billion pounds) spent on subsidised jobs, Labour Minister Michel Sapin said earlier on Wednesday that the jobless total should fall this year.
Hollande acknowledges that more needs to be done to get companies hiring and he offered last month to phase out 30 billion euros in payroll charges that companies have to pay, in exchange for committing to targets to create jobs.
The European Commission said on Tuesday it expected France's jobless rate to stay at 11 percent this year and next, showing little confidence in Hollande's promise to kickstart growth and job creation through economic reforms.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Catherine Evans)