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Business

German joblessness hits 24-year low

Despite a growth slowdown in Europe's economic powerhouse, Germany's labor market appears in a very robust state. Unemployment has sunk further to reach levels not seen since shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

German unemployment dropped in May to the lowest level in 24 years, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) reported Tuesday.

It said the number of jobless people in the country fell to a seasonally adjusted 2.786 million people, reaching levels last recorded in September 1991, a year after German reunification.

In raw, unadjusted terms, the jobless total decreased by 81,000 month on month to 2.762 million, the office said.

The unemployment rate - measuring the jobless total against the working population as a whole – stood at 6.4 percent in May, unchanged from the previous month and the lowest level since 1990.

Strong consumer confidence

"Although GDP growth has cooled somewhat of late, developments on the labor market have continued to be positive," BA President Frank-Jürgen Weise said in a statement.

Normally, unemployment declines in the spring as the warmer weather allows companies in the building sector and elsewhere to hire more workers.

But the current

pickup in domestic demand

had been magnifying that effect, the labor office said.

hg/pad (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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