As the French government strives to tackle its economic woes, rein in spending and social programmes, while increasing taxes, this strategy is having a negative impact on employment and causing spikes in poverty in the world's fifth largest economy. According to the latest figures, published Tuesday by weekly "Le Nouvel Observateur," 8.7 million people, or over 14 percent of the population, now live below the poverty line in this nation of 65 million. Industrial performance's decline, populations with high-immigrant mixes and pressures on social housing were all cited as factors for widespread poverty in areas studied. The French magazine, basing its information on the second sociological study by Compas Consultants, also listed the worst-affected areas in the country, where poverty is biting hardest. The areas vary from north to south, east to west, and even parts of the luxurious capital, Paris, - albeit in the suburbs - are cited high up among the hundred poorest places in the country. Late Monday, another disappointment for the government when despite firm promises to turn unemployment trends around, the rate rose again to a new record above 11 percent. France now has just below five million people who cannot find work, with 3.3 million officially on the jobless rolls. President Francois Hollande made the jobs issue his main policy objective for 2013 and vowed he would end the rising jobless rates - but this has visibly failed. While there are still many pockets of luxury around France, many in the wealthy western suburbs of the capital, an increasing number of people are finding it difficult to make ends meet and feel huge pressure on household budgets as higher taxes and austerity programmes to reduce deficits take their toll. French voters go to the polls for municipal elections in March, when they will put in new city councils and mayors across the nation and the prevailing feeling among observers here is that a sanction vote against the ruling Socialists and President Hollande is inevitable. At the same time, the President does not face elections until 2017, when the French parliament will also be renewed and has time to try to turn the worsening economic situation around.