German jobless rate falls to record low since reunification | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 31, 2019

German jobless rate falls to record low since reunification

Germany's unemployment rate fell again in March, striking a new historic low since reunification in 1990, figures showed Friday, as a job boom in Europe's biggest economy extended its run.

Just 4.9 percent of people were out of work in Europe's largest economy in March, the Federal Labour Agency (BA) said in seasonally-adjusted figures. "With the onset of spring recovery, unemployment continued to fall in March," BA chief Detlef Scheele said in a statement.

The positive development in jobless figures came even though business and investor confidence has fallen in Germany as the gross domestic product (GDP) stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Berlin has also lowered sharply its economic forecast for this year to just 1.0 percent.

"Although the economic tailwind has eased, the labour market continues to develop favourably," added Scheele.

In unadjusted figures, less representative of underlying trends but more closely followed in public debate, the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 5.1 percent or 2.3 million people.

"The labour market remains the best possible insurance against recession fear, even though very tentative signs of a cooling have emerged," commented ING economist Carsten Brzeski.

Across Germany, the unemployment rate for the month is lowest in the southern states of Bavaria, at 3.0 percent, and Baden-Wuerttemberg at 3.1 percent.

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