PARIS, Jan. 28 -- French Labor Minister Michel Sapin on Friday stressed that the battle against unemployment needed time to be won, reiterating the government's pledge to overturn the rising unemployment curve by the end of 2013.
"This is not a battle on a monthly basis. The battle against unemployment is not won in a month, it will be won over time," the minister told Europe 1.
"Today, the situation is bad. It has been so since 19 months -- months and months before we arrived," he said.
Cornered by record high unemployment, French President Francois Hollande aims to reverse unemployment with his "jobs of the future" plan involving state subsidies to help poorly qualified young workers from disadvantaged suburbs and rural areas.
The government is spending 2.3 billion euros (3 billion U.S. dollars) to create 100,000 jobs in the public sector and 50,000 in the private sector by 2014, to be compensated by removing tax exemptions from taxes on overtime work.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecast French unemployment would grow to 9.9 percent in 2012 before falling back to 10.7 percent this year.