French unemployment claims rose in March to a new record high, in the latest sign of deterioration in the world’s labor markets as a result of the spread of the coronavirus around the world.

According to the French Ministry of Labor, the percentage of applications for subsidy in March climbed to a record level of 7.1 percent, bringing the total number of people seeking jobless benefits to 246,100, marking the largest monthly increase since registration began in 1996.

The data indicates a sharp rise in the number of people on temporary or short-term contracts over the past month since the start of lockdowns and quarantine measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 within the country.

In a related context, as part of France’s efforts to prevent mass layoffs that would increase unemployment, 863,000 French companies have placed up to 10.8 million people on state-subsidized leave.

It is worth mentioning that the number of people infected inside France is currently around 162,100, while the deaths toll is 22,856.

As of 11:20 GMT, the euro traded higher for a second straight session versus the U.S. dollar at 1.0841, ahead of the Federal Reserve and ECB monetary decisions this week.

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