The true lives of those hidden behind France's jobless figures

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Massaging unemployment figures has become a preoccupation for France’s socialist government, as the rising numbers of jobless threaten to put the final nail in President François Hollande’s political coffin ahead of presidential elections next year. The figures are presented in three categories, A, B and C, ranging from those without any professional activity – the official unemployed - to those who have partial jobs. But there are few differences between either section, all facing a desperate daily search for a proper job and liveable income, as illustrated in these four interviews by Mathilde Goanec.

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Every month, official unemployment figures are listed under three separate categories, A, B, and C. The official total jobless numbers cited most often is category A - people without any working activity – while those who work a minimal number of hours but who earn well below part-time pay, are in categories B and C, a section of the population largely forgotten by politicians and the broad media.