German jobless rises in February

4th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 March 2004 , NUREMBERG - The number of unemployed in Germany rose by more than 40,000 in February to 4.641 million, with the government's efforts to bolster growth so far failing to translate into a recovery on the jobs market. Figures released Thursday by the Federal Labour Agency show the percentage of people now out of work up 0.1 points to 11.1 percent from the January figure. Despite the increase Economics and Labour Minister Wolfgang Clement said there were positive signs that the rise in unemploym

4 March 2004

NUREMBERG - The number of unemployed in Germany rose by more than 40,000 in February to 4.641 million, with the government's efforts to bolster growth so far failing to translate into a recovery on the jobs market.

Figures released Thursday by the Federal Labour Agency show the percentage of people now out of work up 0.1 points to 11.1 percent from the January figure.

Despite the increase Economics and Labour Minister Wolfgang Clement said there were positive signs that the rise in unemployment was now reaching an end.

Speaking in Munich, Clement said it was the government's aim to get unemployment down to around 4 million people towards the end of the year.

Federal Labour Agency chief Frank-Juergen Weise said February's jobless increase was mainly because "strains on the economy were no longer being balanced out by labour market policies".

The continuing cold wintry weather was also keeping jobless levels up, he said.

The agency said jobless numbers rose 43,600 from January to February. When seasonally adjusted, the figure rose by 26,000 to 4.293 million.

Compared to February last year, the number of unemployed has fallen by 65,900.

However large numbers of unemployed on training schemes have fallen out of the statistics this year, making annual comparisons less valid. In a like-on-like comparison, the jobless number has risen by 1,700 over February 2003, the figures show.

Labour market experts do not expect to see any fall in jobless numbers until the second half of the year.

The government hopes its labour, tax and other reforms will translate into economic growth in the course of the year which in turn will lead to a decline in unemployment.

DPA
Subject: German news

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