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Business

German unemployment drops amid autumn upswing

A seasonal pick-up in economic activity has reduced the number of jobless people in Germany to 2,788,000 in September. However, the jobs motor of Europe's biggest economy is sputtering on the back of the eurozone crisis.

The number of Germans unemployed in September dropped by 117,000 compared with the previous month, to reach a total of 2,788,000, according to latest figures released by the German Labor Agency on Thursday.

The jobless rate came in at 6.5 percent - down 0.3 percent compared with August. Year on year, some 7,000 fewer Germans were in search of jobs this month.

However German Labor Agency chief Frank-Jürgen Weise noted that much of the decline was due to a routine autumn upswing in the economy, and that the pace of job creation was slowing month by month.

As a result, figures adjusted for seasonal factors such as holidays, tourism activity and the number of school leavers, actually showed an increase in unemployment by 9,000 people compared with August.

"The general slowdown of economic activity is beginning to trickle down to the labor market," Weise added.

A reflection of this was the number of vacancies recorded by the Labor Agency in September, which stood at 485,000 and was 17,000 lower than in the same month of 2011.

Nevertheless, Weise described the German labor market as being in "robust shape," adding that employment remained at a historically high level of 41.72 million people working in Germany - up by 420,000 from August 2011.

uhe/mz (dpa, Reuters)