Ger­man un­em­ploy­ment sits at 24-year low

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

The num­ber of peo­ple reg­is­tered as un­em­ployed in Ger­many is lower than it has been since De­cem­ber 1991, as re­cov­ery in Europe’s big­gest econ­omy con­tin­ues, data showed on Tues­day.

The sea­son­ally ad­justed job­less to­tal fell by 6,000 to 2.786 mil­lion, the Fed­eral Labour Of­fice cal­cu­lated.

The drop was smaller than ex­pected, as an­a­lysts had been pen­cil­ing in a decline of around 10,000.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate — which mea­sures the job­less to­tal against the work­ing pop­u­la­tion as a whole — stood at 6.4 per­cent in May, un­changed from April 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 de­creased by 81,000 to 2.762 mil­lion and the job­less rate fell to 6.3 per­cent in May from 6.5 per­cent in April, the la­bor of­fice said.

Nor­mally, un­em­ploy­ment de­clines in the spring as the warmer weather al­lows com­pa­nies in sec­tors such as con­struc­tion to take on work­ers.

But the cur­rent strength of do­mes­tic de­mand in Ger­many was mag­ni­fy­ing that ef­fect, said the head of the la­bor of­fice, FrankJuer­gen Weise.

“The la­bor mar­ket is de­vel­op­ing pos­i­tively, both on the sup­ply and de­mand side,” he said.

While eco­nomic growth in Ger­many slowed in the first three months of this year, with gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) ex­pand­ing by a mod­est 0.3 per­cent com­pared with 0.7 per­cent in the pre­ced­ing three months, ro­bust do­mes­tic de­mand sug­gested the la­bor mar­ket would con­tinue to de­velop pos­i­tively, an­a­lysts said.

“Ger­many’s job mar­ket is as solid as a rock,” said Natixis econ­o­mist Jo­hannes Gareis.

“The rate of decline in un­em­ploy­ment eased some­what since the start of this year. But early in­di­ca­tors point to a con­tin­u­a­tion of Ger­many’s job mar­ket boom in 2015, backed by solid out­put growth,” the ex­pert said.

Bay­ernLB econ­o­mist Ki­par agreed.

“Over­all, the trend on the la­bor mar­ket re­mains pos­i­tive,”

Ste­fan he said.

“Eco­nomic mo­men­tum has tailed off slightly since the be­gin­ning of the year, but in view of the pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment in­di­ca­tors, we’re not ex­pect­ing any pro­nounced pe­riod of weak­ness,” Ki­par con­tin­ued, point­ing to fa­vor­able fac­tors such as the low oil price and weak euro.

The pos­i­tive trend was backed up by ris­ing em­ploy­ment, with the num­ber of peo­ple in work in­creas­ing by 213,000 to 42.6 mil­lion in April, ac­cord­ing to sep­a­rate data pub­lished by the fed­eral statis­tics of­fice Des­tatis.

The gov­ern­ment also wel­comed the data.

“De­spite the chilly spring weather, em­ploy­ment is at full op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture,” said Labour min­is­ter An­drea Nahles.

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