• German unemployment at record lows as economy recovers


    FRANKFURT: German unemployment remained at historically low levels in August as the recovery in Europe’s biggest economy continued on track, data showed on Tuesday.

    The number of people registered as unemployed in Germany fell by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 2.79 million, the lowest level since December 1991, the Federal Labor Office said.

    That was slightly more than expected, as analysts had been penciling in a decline of around 5,000.

    The unemployment rate—which measures the jobless total against the working population as a whole—stood at 6.4 percent in August, unchanged from July and the lowest level since west and east Germany reunited in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall the previous year.

    In raw or unadjusted terms, the jobless total increased by 22,900 to 2.796 million and the unemployment rate edged up to 6.4 percent in August from 6.3 percent in July, the labor office noted.

    But unemployment tends to rise in the summer months as school leavers sign on for the summer holidays.

    Growth of German domestic product (GDP) picked up in the second quarter, the labor office said.

    “The moderately positive upwards trend is continuing . . . [and]the labor market continues to develop favorably,” it said.

    “The labor market remains an important anchor of stability in Germany. Employment is rising,” said Labor Minister Andrea Nahles.

    BayernLB economist Stefan Kipar said the situation on the labor market “remains positive.”

    Uncertainties remained, however, with fears that Greece might be forced out of the euro being overtaken by worries about the Chinese economy, he said.

    “But, so far, the direct effects on companies’ hiring plans have remained limited,” Kipar said.

    With business sentiment still positive and the number of unfilled vacancies still high, “the labor market could continue to gain momentum,” he concluded.



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