PARIS, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- French Labor Minister Michel Sapin on Tuesday played down a fresh rise in unemployment that dashed the government's hopes to bring down jobless last year, saying the trend reversal would happened in "few days" or "few months."
"We have not reached the goal. Global unemployment curve was not inverted. But, we are on the verge of doing so. Is it time to give up? No," Sapin told local radio France Inter.
On Monday, Labor Ministry data showed a 0.3 percent rise in the number of people without work in the French mainland to reach 3.303 million last month.
On yearly basis, the joblessness rate grew by 5.7 percent, breaking President Francois Hollande's promise to overturn the rampant unemployment trend by the end of 2013.
"It is time to strengthen our political, to accelerate and to turn on all engines. This goal is achievable ... It seems in the comments that everything would have been missed ... No. We are on the verge of it, a few days maybe a few months," the minister stressed.
Following the grim data, the Socialists' prospects to promote growth and trim jobless look dim and prompted fresh deluge of criticism over their policy, widely considered ineffective to fix economic troubles.
With jobless claims continued to progress despite the government's measures, Jean-Francois Cope, head of the conservative UMP party, urged the Socialists to "show act of responsibility," and take strong move to realize their promises.
In its recent economic survey, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expected France's unemployment rate to stand at 10.8 percent this year compared to 10.6 percent expected in 2013 and to 9.8 percent recorded in 2012.