PARIS (Reuters) - An overwhelming majority of French people believe President Francois Hollande's government will fail to reduce record high unemployment this year, a poll showed on Friday.
The government is clinging to the Socialist leader's pledge to revert a relentless unemployment rise even as data showed on Thursday that more people were jobless than any time on record, with the country on the edge of recession.
In the BVA poll, just 5 percent expected unemployment to drop this year, while a third of respondents reckoned it would take more than 3 years to see the fall promised by Hollande, whose popularity rating is the lowest of all French presidents of the past half-century.
Even among left-winger voters who might be expected to give Hollande the benefit of the doubt, only 10 percent believed the target he has set is achievable.
Overall, 49 percent of respondents think the government's policies are making things worse and a mere 10 percent believe they are helping.
That 49 percent disapproval rate, said BVA - one of France's top pollsters, was twice as big as the number of voters that held a similar view of Nicolas Sarkozy, Hollande's conservative predecessor, in a survey back in February 2009, at a time when many thought the world was plunging into a 1930s-like depression.
Hollande's government, which took power in May 2012, was recently forced to slash its forecast for economic growth this year from 0.8 to 0.1 percent. The International Monetary Fund and most analysts see a slight contraction.
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Brian Love, Ron Askew)