German unemployment holds at historic lows

Author: AFPThu, 2017-05-04 03:00ID: 1493833227911104500FRANKFURT: A slight decrease in people registered as unemployed in Germany kept the figure at historic lows in April, official data showed Wednesday, as good times persist for Europe’s largest economy.The out-of-work figure adjusted for seasonal effects held steady at 5.8 percent this month, with 15,000 fewer on registries at the Federal Labor Agency (BA).It was steady at its lowest level since reunification in 1990 and in line with analysts’ forecasts. In unadjusted terms, more closely watched in Germany, the number of unemployed fell by 93,000 to 2.56 million people.“The number of people out of work fell significantly again with the continuing spring pick-up” in the economy, BA chief Detlef Scheele said in a statement.Germany’s economy has entered a virtuous cycle in recent months, with higher consumer spending powering growth and encouraging companies to hire more workers — which, in turn, feeds into more spending.A “solid as a rock” labor market “will remain an important driver for the entire economy,” predicted ING Diba bank economist Carsten Brzeski.But he pointed to “ample room for improvement” in several areas, including high numbers of long-term unemployed people and some 40 percent of workers in part-time jobs, especially women.“Making work models more flexible has proven itself,” countered Joerg Zeuner, an economist at the public investment bank KfW.“The labor market should continue to be the growth motor and advertisement for the German economy” if unions strike fair wage deals that will allow employers keep hiring, he added.
Main category: Business & Economy

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