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Business

German unemployment at one-year low, but jobs market lacks dynamism

In 2013, unemployment in Germany was never lower than in the month of October, and more Germans than ever in the past 23 years had a job. But latest figures also show that the German jobs boom is faltering.

In October, some 2.8 million Germans were officially registered as unemployed - about 47,760 less than in the previous month, the Federal Labor Agency (BA) announced Wednesday.

The lowest jobless figure since November 2012 reduced the German unemployment rate from 6.6 percent in September to 6.5 percent in October.

The German labor market was not reacting to the mixed economic outlook for Europe's biggest economy and remained fundamentally sound, the agency said in its statement.

However, Labor Agency Chief Frank-Jürgen Weise noted that the drop was moderate, indicating that the usual autumn revival in the jobs market was weaker than expected.

Therefore, the jobless total adjusted for seasonal variations edged up by 2,000 people - the third consecutive monthly increase.

Moreover, the German jobs market was lacking dynamism, Weise said. This meant that the risk to lose one's job was low, while at the same time chances for those unemployed to find new jobs were also low, he added.

Nevertheless, the latest BA figures show German employment at its highest level for the past 23 years. In September, some 42 million Germans, out of a population of just over 81 million, were working.

Economists said record employment was likely to boost domestic consumption, helping to support the country's nascent economic upswing.

uhe/ipj (AP, Reuters, dpa, AFP)