Experts say unemployment to level off in March

30th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2005, NUREMBERG - Unemployment in Germany has levelled off at its post-war record of 5.21 million in March, labour sector experts said on Wednesday, a day ahead of the release of official jobless figures.

30 March 2005

NUREMBERG - Unemployment in Germany has levelled off at its post-war record of 5.21 million in March, labour sector experts said on Wednesday, a day ahead of the release of official jobless figures.

Some of the experts surveyed by Deutsche Presse-Agentur even believed the March jobless numbers may have even risen slightly above those in February.

The Federal Labour Office in Nuremberg is to issue its March jobless data on Thursday.

Economic research Gebardt Flaig at the ifo-institut in Munich said he expected the jobless figures to show no major movement. He considered it unlikely that there would be any big reduction.

"The burdensome effects of the Hartz-IV reforms and the relief effects of the usual spring upturn will balance each other out," Flaig said.

He was referring to the new job and social welfare reforms which this year have added hundreds of thousands of people to the unemployment rolls by including those who are receiving social welfare assistance.

At Deutsche Bank, analyst Stephan Bielmeier believed that the jobless figure for March might be 20,000 higher to reach 5.23 million. This would be 680,000 higher than in March 2004.

"This year's winter was unusually long. As a result, work could not be resumed in many outdoor professions", he said.

Normally, the month of March is one in which joblessness starts to retreat with the advent of better weather. Over the past ten years, the average drop in unemployment has been 140,000.

The Nuremberg office reported 5.216 million jobless in February for a new post-war record high. The figure was 575,000 above February 2004 figures. The office said that 360,000 to 370,000 of the higher number were accounted for by the new rules in which welfare recipients are classified as people searching for jobs.

DPA

Subject: German news

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