German unemployment hits 24-year low

unemploymentGerman unemployment fell in May to the lowest level in 24 years as the recovery in Europe’s biggest economy continues, data showed on Tuesday.

The number of people registered as unemployed in Germany fell by a seasonally-adjusted 6,000 to 2.786 million, the lowest level since December 1991, the Federal Labour Office said.

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

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

German gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, slower than the 0.7 percent recorded in the preceding three months.

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