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Business

German Unemployment Falls Despite Financial Turbulence

Defying ongoing turmoil on the world's financial markets Germany's unemployment rate fell in September to 7.6 percent in adjusted terms, the nation's labor agency said Tuesday.

A worker at a construction site in Dresden

Jobs in Germany aren't in short supply despite global financial turmoil

The seasonally adjusted monthly figure of 3.177 million people out of work marked a drop by 29,000 from August, when the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Office had pegged German unemployment at 7.7 percent.

Despite the many signs of an economic downturn, including slumping German consumer confidence, the echoes of Germany's last recovery continued to resonate through its labor market.

There is often a long time lag in Germany before hiring adjusts into line with corporate revenues. Concern has been growing among German exporters at the clouding of the global economy. But the recent turmoil on financial markets has not translated into any significant layoffs in Germany.

"Unemployment is falling and the number of jobs is continuing to rise," Federal Labor Office chief Frank-Juergen Weise said. Demand for staff remained fairly high.

The politically more important unadjusted tally was 3.081 million, down 115,000 from August as hiring increased after Germany's summer vacations.

That brought the unadjusted joblessness rate down 0.2 of a percentage point to 7.4 per cent.

German Labor Minister Olaf Scholz hailed the unadjusted tally as Germany's best since 1992, attributing it to job-creation policy. He said it was encouraging that long-term cases of unemployment were well down.

A year ago the comparable unadjusted rate had been 8.5 per cent. The September seasonally-unadjusted tally was 463,000 less than in the same month last year.

However a spokesman for one of the opposition parties in Berlin, Rainer Bruederle of the Free Democrat Party, dismissed the brighter joblessness figure as "just a lull before the storm."

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