PARIS, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Joblessness is booming in France and worldwide, as economic growth has come to a virtual halt in all regions of the globe, economists say.
The global financial crisis has swelled the ranks of the unemployed not only in France and the United States, but also elsewhere in Europe, Asia and the developing world, where the pace of layoffs has caught up after companies that initially resisted deep cuts have followed the lead of their American counterparts, The New York Times reported.
"This is the worst we've had since 1929," Laurent Wauquiez, France's employment minister, told the Times. "The thing that is new is that it is global, and we are always talking about that. It is in every country, and it makes the whole difference."
The International Monetary Fund said it expects that by the end of the year, global economic growth will reach its lowest point since the Depression.
Officials say the situation is creating social unrest, with high unemployment rates leading to protests in such countries as Latvia, Chile, Greece, Bulgaria and Iceland, and contributing to strikes in Britain and France.