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Business

German Employment Rate Hits Highpoint

For only the second time since German reunification, the number of employed people in Germany has crossed the 40 million mark.

Building sign reading agentur fuer arbeit -- employment agency

A rise in jobs means fewer Germans need the employment agency's services

In the second quarter of 2008, 40.2 million were registered as being in employment, despite the relative economic lull. However, the increase of about 1.4 percent in comparison to the same time last year was slightly lower than the first quarter's increase of 1.6 percent, the Federal Statistics Office said Thursday.

Service, manufacturing up

Man carrying steel beam at construction site

The construction sector saw a drop in jobs

Service sector jobs including sales, catering and real estate positions saw the largest increase at 1.5 percent. The manufacturing and agriculture sectors experienced similar jumps.

The number of self-employed remained almost stable, rising by just 0.1 percent to reach a total of 4.5 million.

Construction, however, has been on a decline since the end of last year and this quarter proved no exception.

At the same time, the German economy underwent an economic slowdown. A first quarter boom of 1.2 percent over last year dropped to just 0.5 percent in the April to June quarter.

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