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Business

German unemployment falling further

Joblessness in Europe's biggest economy has never been lower in more than a quarter century, dropping below 6 percent for the first time since June 1991 as healthy economic growth causes companies to continue hiring.

In the month of June, businesses in Germany added about 50,000 people to their payrolls, causing the nominal unemployment rate in Europe's top economy to fall below 6 percent.

The June jobless rate - measuring the unemployment total against the working population as a whole - came in at 5.9 percent as 2.61 million people were officially registered as unemployed, according to data released by the German Labor Agency (BA) on Thursday.

BA data also showed that since East and West Germany were reunited in 1991, unemployment was only lower in June that year, with 2.4 million people out of work back then.

"Despite the difficult environment, the German economy remains robust. Moderate growth can be expected during the rest of the year," the Labor Agency said in a statement.

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Job growth set to continue

The German economy increased output by an unexpectedly strong 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Although economists expect the strong performance to weaken slightly in the second quarter, companies have continued hiring and remain willing to do so.

According to BA employment data also released on Thursday, more than 43 million people had jobs in May - about 559,000 more than in the same month a year ago. Also the demand for labor remains high because 665,000 jobs could not be filled - an increase of 93,000 over the year.

uhe/kd (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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