German unemployment at record lows as economy recovers

1st September 2015, Comments 0 comments

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 Labour Office said.

That was slightly more than expected, as analysts had been pencilling 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 labour 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 labour office said.

"The moderately positive upwards trend is continuing... (and) the labour market continues to develop favourably," it said.

"The labour market remains an important anchor of stability in Germany. Employment is rising," said Labour Minister Andrea Nahles.

BayernLB economist Stefan Kipar said the situation on the labour 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 labour market could continue to gain momentum," he concluded.


© 2015 AFP

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