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Business

German unemployment falls to historic low

The number of unemployed people in Germany fell for the ninth consecutive month in June, dropping to a level unseen since the country reunited about 25 years ago. Also, the number of job vacancies rose to new heights.

The current acceleration of business activity in Europe's largest economy created 50,500 new jobs in June, driving down the German nominal unemployment rate from 6.3 percent in May to 6.2 percent in June, according to new figures published by the German Labor Agency (BA) on Tuesday.

BA data for June showed that about 2.71 million Germans were looking for work - the lowest number since December 1991, about a year after German reunification.

In terms adjusted for seasonal variations, however, the number of unemployed fell only by about 1,000 to 2.78 million - slightly fewer than expected by analysts.

The German economy is expected to have picked up steam in the second quarter after a brief slowdown in the first three months of 2015.

Noting that the growth outlook had "clouded over somewhat" for the second half of the year, the German labor office said the trend on the labor market nonetheless "remains favorable."

Vacancies rising

Further proof that the German economy was gaining jobs in the past months was BA's jobs index released by the agency on Monday. The BA-X barometer for June climbed two points higher than in May, reaching 191 points. Any reading above 100 indicates there are more jobs than qualified job seekers.

The Labor Office said the high number for June represented "current robust economic growth."

Vacancies were especially high in the health and social services sectors, BA data show, where every tenth position was open. Another 8 percent of unfilled jobs were registered in wholesale and retail businesses. Also sought were economic analysts, business consultants, advertising executives and market researchers.

Germany's BA-X index was established in 2004 and has been above 100 points ever since its creation, except for a five-month period in 2004.

uhe/bk (dpa, AFP)

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