Unemployment of Germany falls more

Unemployment of Germany falls more

BERLIN - Reuters
Unemployment of Germany falls more

A person walking towards the job center in western Germany. German unemployment fell for third month in a row, data showed yesterday. AFP photo

The number of Germans out of work fell in February and the jobless rate remained close to a post-reunification low, bolstering hopes that domestic demand will help support growth in Europe’s largest economy.

Labour Office data showed yesterday that the number of people without a job dropped for a third month in a row by 3,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.917 million in February. That was slightly below the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 29 economists for unemployment to fall by 5,000.

The unemployment rate held steady at 6.9 percent, putting February’s reading a touch above the 6.8 percent that marked its lowest point since the country was reunified in 1990.

“(The) German labour market remains solid as a rock, defying the winter weather and the euro crisis,” said Carsten Brzeski, senior economist at ING.

The low jobless rate is welcome news for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces an election in September that could be influenced by the state of the economy. Germany is the envy of struggling southern euro zone states, where around one in four people are unemployed.

The government is hoping that the stable employment situation will boost private consumption this year to help offset weakness in euro zone trading partners. Germany exports some 40 percent of its goods to fellow members of the currency bloc.The unadjusted jobless total, a politically important threshold in Germany, remained above the 3 million mark which it breached in January.

“Even without magic and enchantment, the labour market should remain growth-supportive,” Brzeski said.