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UK-FRANCE-JOBLESS:French minister says jobless should fall by year-end - report
Reuters Job seekers visit a National Agency for Employment (Pole Emploi) stand at the 9th job forum dedicated to recruiting in Nice, January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - France's jobless totals should fall this year, Labour Minister Michel Sapin said on Wednesday, eyeing a new target for job creation after the government failed to bring down the rate as it had promised last year.

The Labour Ministry is due to publish jobless data for January at 1700 GMT. Figures for December showed the number of jobseekers rising by more than 10,000, burying President Francois Hollande's pledge to bring it down.

"There should be fewer jobless people at the end of the year than at the outset," Sapin told AFP. "We need to get joblessness to come down."

Hollande's suffered a blow to his credibility when he failed to stem unemployment, which rose above 11 percent despite at least two billion euros being spent on subsidised jobs for youths and older workers.

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 Nicholas Vinocur; editing by Mark John)