German unemployment falls to record low since reunification

Unemployment in Germany fell to its lowest level since the former East and West Germany reunited in 1990, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) said on Friday in Nuremberg.

A total of 2.18 million people were unemployed in the country in November, with the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 4.8 per cent.

In November, 24,000 fewer people were unemployed than in October and 6,000 fewer people than a year ago, according to the data.

“The current economic weakness is still noticeable on the labour market,” BA head Detlef Scheele said, adding, “all in all, however, it is proving to be robust.”

With 736,000 jobs registered at the labour office, the demand for labour remains high. However, that number is still 71,000 below the level of the previous year.

Earlier this week, the Nuremberg-based IAB Institute for the Labour Market announced its prediction for an upswing in the labour market in the months ahead, specifically saying it did not expect larger increases in seasonal unemployment as the winter months approach.

BA also noted Friday that the number of long-term unemployed in Germany fell again in November. In October, 708,000 people were still unemployed for more than a year, whereas in November the figure fell to just under 700,000.

Earlier this month, officials said the German economy narrowly escaped a recession in its third quarter. The German economy is taking hits due to the US-China trade war, Britain’s Brexit crisis and restructuring challenges facing the German automobile industry.

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