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German unemployment down to six percent

At no time in half a century has unemployment in Germany been as low as this May. In what appears to be a positive feedback loop, a strong labor market boosts consumption, driving growth and creating even more jobs.

Europe's largest economy added some 80,000 jobs in May, driving down unemployment in Germany to 2.664 million, according to fresh data released by the country's Labor Agency (BA) on Tuesday.

The nominal unemployment rate dropped to six percent from 6.3 percent in April, reaching its lowest level since East and West Germany re-united in 1990.

The new post-unification record came as the German economy grew a robust 0.7 percent in the first quarter of the year, driving the number of jobs to 43.36 million in May - about 544,000 more than in the same month a year ago.

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"In the first quarter of 2016, the German economy saw a substantial boost in growth," the Labor Agency said in a statement, causing an "overall positive development" in the German jobs market.

The seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 11,000 to 2.695 million, BA data showed, more than double the consensus forecast of analysts polled by the news agency Reuters, who had predicted a fall of about 5,000.

According to BA chief Frank-Jürgen Weise, the trend toward lower unemployment was expected to continue for the rest of the year, due to a rising number of job vacancies which had grown by 98,000 to 655,000 in May.

uhe/kd (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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