By William Horobin

PARIS--French unemployment rose in the third quarter of the year, statistics showed Thursday, casting doubt over whether President Francois Hollande's economic record is strong enough for him to seek re-election.

The unemployment rate rose to 10% in the third quarter from 9.9%, the first quarterly increase in a year, national statistics agency Insee said.

Mr. Hollande has said he will not run for re-election in the spring if he fails to get unemployment on a downward path by the end of the year. Surveys show the Socialist leader is already deeply unpopular and stands little chance of election if he opts to run.

Mr. Hollande has poured billions of euros of public money into training schemes and tax cuts in the last four years to bring down unemployment, especially among young people. The data from Insee, however, showed that the unemployment rate of under 25 year olds rose to 25.7% from 24.4%.

French labor minister Myriam El Khomri said the jobs trend remains favorable compared to a year ago, when the unemployment rate peaked at 10.5%.

"Despite this small quarterly rise in Insee's unemployment figures, the good results we've had in terms of net job creations has turned into a notable fall in unemployment on year," Ms. El Khomri said.

-Write to William Horobin at william.horobin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2016 02:06 ET (07:06 GMT)

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