French Labor Minister Francois Rebsamen on Friday said the government's target to reduce the number of jobseekers to below three million was "ambitious" but "not impossible."
"I know the difficulty of the situation. We should aim for having less than three million unemployed people by 2017. They are ambitious goals but it's not impossible," Rebsamen told BFM Business.
"If we are not in this phase, we will be there very soon. Otherwise, it is not worth making a competitiveness pact, reducing (labor) charges, and lowering company charges by 41 billion euros (55.48 billion U.S. dollars). These are steps that will have an impact," he added.
However, the National Professional Union for Employment in Industry and Trade (UNEDIC) on Thursday painted a grim picture after its data pointed to a continued rise in joblessness with an additional 103,200 jobseekers expected this year and 60,000 in 2015.
At the end of March, more that 3.34 million people were unemployed in France, up by 4.1 percent compared to a year ago.