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Germany – Unemployment rises as crisis hits job market

30 August 2012

The German unemployment rate in August continued to creep up for the fifth month running as the European debit crisis impacted a weakening labour market, new statistics show. From June to August, the number of jobless people rose by 9,000 to 2.9 million in seasonal adjusted terms, the Federal Labour Agency disclosed today.  

“Overall the fundamental labour market indicators are showing growing signs of weakness,” said Frank-J. Weise of the agency. “This is also showing lower growth of the German economy.” The unadjusted jobless rate in the month stood at 6.8%, flat on June.

At a press conference Mr Weise said this morning that a rise in unemployment in August is nothing unusual, but in this case the increase had been more profound than in previous years. When compared to last year’s figures, the number of people without a job has risen by 40,000.

“The strong labour market has been one of the main drivers of German growth in the first half of the year,” said the ING economist Carsten Brzeski. “Today’s numbers provide further evidence that the labour market is gradually losing steam and that the positive impact on the economy should peter out toward the end of the year.”

The agency also reported that demand for jobs is slowing but still “on a high level.” Skilled workers are particularly sought after in the metal, electrical, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare sectors. 

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