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French jobless total hits one-year high in August

PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The number of people in France registered as out of work rose in August to its highest level in a year, Labour Ministry data showed on Tuesday, casting a cloud over an otherwise improving economic outlook.

The jobless total in mainland France rose by 22,300 last month to reach 3,540,400, the highest since August 2011. The number was up 0.6 percent over one month but down 0.3 percent over one year. Business and consumer confidence has risen in recent months to multi-year highs following the election of President Emmanuel Macron on a pro-business platform.

While economists have been busy recently revising up France's growth forecasts, the improvement has so far not translated into a drop in the jobless total.

Macron is counting on firing up the job market with an overhaul this month of France's labor law and a reform of jobless benefits due later this year.

Even though jobless numbers have remained stubbornly high despite a stronger economy, new job creation has been picking up, helping to bring down the unemployment rate.

It fell in the second quarter to a five-year low of 9.5 percent from 9.6 percent in the previous three months, the INSEE statistics agency said last month. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas, editing by Larry King)