German official unemployment edges down

28th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Unemployment in Germany dropped slightly in April, hovering around the lowest level for about 20 years, official statistics showed on Thursday, as Europe's top economy continues to power ahead.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, unchanged from the March figure, the Federal Labour Agency (BA) said. However, there were 37,000 fewer people looking for work than the same time last month.

This was exactly what economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast.

On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent from 7.6 percent the previous month. There were 3.078 million unemployed in total, a drop of 132,000, the office said.

Frank-Juergen Weise, the head of the BA, said: "The stable, positive trend on the labour market has continued with the economic upswing. Unemployment dropped further in April."

After suffering its worst recession in more than 60 years in 2009, the German economy has bounced back strongly, registering a record growth rate of 3.6 percent in 2010.

This year, Berlin expects the economy to grow by 2.6 percent this year, ahead of European rivals Britain and France.

© 2011 AFP

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