German unemployment steady at historic low in June

GMT 12:29 2015 Tuesday ,30 June

Arab Today, arab today German unemployment steady at historic low in June

The number of people registered as unemployed
Frankfurt - AFP

German unemployment remained at historically low levels in June as the recovery in Europe's biggest economy stayed on track, data showed on Tuesday.

The number of people registered as unemployed in Germany fell by a seasonally-adjusted 1,000 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 5,000.

The unemployment rate -- which measures the jobless total against the working population as a whole -- stood at 6.4 percent in June, unchanged from May 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 50,500 to 2.711 million and the jobless rate fell to 6.2 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May, the labour office said.

Growth of German gross domestic product (GDP) slowed in the first quarter, but data so far appear to suggest that the momentum will pick up slightly in the second quarter, the labour office said.

"Looking ahead to the second half of 2015, economic expectations have clouded over somewhat. But the trend on the labour market remains favourable, albeit somewhat slower than in the first quarter," it said.

IHS Global Insight analyst Timo Klein said the decline in the jobless numbers is slowing, but "the underlying downward tendency ... remains intact for now."

"Overall, labour market conditions remain healthier in Germany than in most other countries in Europe," the expert said.

"Underlying German economic growth will remain quite robust during 2015-16 despite eurozone concerns about how the Greek drama plays out and about geopolitical crises" in countries such as Ukraine, he continued.

Sharply lower oil prices, a much softer euro, and the ECB's launch of a quantitative easing programme were all providing support for economic activity at present, Klein argued.

BayernLB economist Stefan Kipar agreed.

"The Greek crisis is not having any tangible effect on the German labour market so far," he said.

Even if Greece were to crash out of the euro, "the fallout for the German economy would remain limited," so the outlook for the labour market in the coming months would not noticeably cloud over, Kipar said.

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