The number of people in France looking for jobs surged in April by 22.6% to a record high as a nationwide coronavirus lockdown shut down swathes of the economy, Labour Ministry data showed on Thursday.

The number of people registered as seeking work jumped by 843,000 from March to 4,575,500, the highest since records began in 1996, the Labour Ministry said.

The ministry said that the surge was due to a nearly 35% drop in the number of people getting new jobs while the number of people of joining the tally fell 19%. The data do not include people who have been put on state-subsided furloughs during the crisis, which the ministry said on Wednesday numbered nearly 13 million.

Copyright Reuters, 2020