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Business

German jobs market treads water, unemployment edging up in November

Unemployment in Germany rose slightly in November but stays below the symbolic 3-million mark. The Labor Agency says job creation is in line with economic growth and will accelerate on bigger expansion due next year.

The number of jobless Germans rose by about 5,000 people in November, inching up to a total of 2.806 million, according to latest figures released by the German Labor Agency (BA) on Thursday.

In figures adjusted for seasonal variations, unemployment even climbed by 10,000 to 2.98 million, which was the fourth monthly rise in a row, BA said. The jobless rate, however, had remained unchanged at 6.9 percent, it added.

Labor Agency Chief Frank-Jürgen Weise described the latest job market situation as being largely in line with developments over the past few months.

Both nominal and seasonally adjusted unemployment has steadily edged up in Germany in recent months on the back of just meager growth in the economy as a whole. Following near stagnation in the first three months of 2013, German gross domestic product (GDP) made strong gains of 0.7 percent in the second quarter, only to fall back to 0.3 percent between July and September.

On Thursday, the Labor Agency said the jobs market was marked by stagnation, in which new jobs weren't being created, while existing employment was relatively stable.

“For jobless people it's rather difficult to get a job at the moment,” BA Chief Weise said, adding that nine out of ten vacancies registered with the agency required vocational qualifications or a university degree. Jobs for low-skilled workers were virtually non-existent anymore, he said.

According to the BA data, demand for labor in Germany slumped by 20,000 vacancies to a total of 431,000 job offerings. Analysts believe, however, that job prospects in Germany will brighten next year as the economy is expected to climb out of its current weakness. Latest growth forecasts for 2014 see the rate of expansion in Europe's biggest economy to accelerate to about 1.4 percent.

uhe/hc (Reuters, dpa)