France's labour ministry says a 43-year-old man has died after setting himself on fire outside a job centre in the western city of Nantes.
Djamal Chaab, whom authorities believe was unemployed, had informed the job centre of his plan to take his own life, but authorities were unable to intervene in time.
In a statement on Wednesday (local time), French Labour Minister Michel Sapin called the death a "shocking drama".
Like many countries across Europe, France has seen its unemployment rate rise in recent years as the financial crisis hurt the economy. France's jobless rate is now at its highest level in over a decade, at 10.3 per cent, according to the national statistics agency, INSEE.