Employment in France and Germany: How do they compare?
13 February 2014 Last updated at 00:32 GMT
Unemployment in France is still around 11% despite government efforts to reduce it.
In contrast, Germany's unemployment rate is around 5.2% and the country's economy has continued to grow.
But why is there such a big difference between these two European power-houses?
Hugh Schofield reports from Chalons-en-Champagne in France, and Steve Evans reports from its German twin-town, Neuss.