German unemployment climbs in January: Labour office

1st February 2011, Comments 0 comments

German unemployment climbed last month in absolute terms, data released by the national labour office showed Tuesday, but dipped by another measure to a record low since the country's reunification in late 1990.

In unadjusted terms, which serve as the basis for public debate, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, with the total number of people out of work climbing by 331,000 to 3.347 million, the national labour office said.

The unadjusted rate had stood at 7.2 percent in December.

When corrected for seasonal effects, the standard used by economists for comparisons, the unemployment rate declined slightly however to 7.4 percent, the labour office said.

That was better than an average analyst forecast established by Dow Jones Newswires, which had anticipated a stable adjusted rate of 7.5 percent, and the lowest rate since German reunification in late 1990, ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski noted.

"Today's numbers confirm the strength of the German labour market. Looking ahead, the good-news-show will continue," he said.

"Recruitment plans are still improving and recently reached another record high," Brzeski explained.

The German economy has pulled sharpy out of its last recession to notch up record post-reunification growth of 3.6 percent in 2010, with the government forecasting an additional expansion of 2.3 percent this year.

Capital Economics economist Ben May said the latest unemployment reading "provides hope that a strengthening labour market will prevent household spending from faltering this year in response to Germany's fiscal squeeze."

© 2011 AFP

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