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Business

German unemployment slides below 3 million

Reunified Germany has never had so few people out of work in the month of March, new statistics have shown. The data was another sign that Europe's largest economy was expanding, galvanized by strong domestic demand.

Germany's unemployment rate, which measures the number of jobless against the working population as a whole, dropped 0.1 percent to 2.932 million in March

over one month prior

- the lowest figure for this time of year in 24 years, the German Labor Agency (BA) said Tuesday.

It's normal for unemployment to decrease with springtime thaws, as warmer weather allows companies in sectors like construction to hire more workers. But the robustness of Germany's economic recovery was providing another source of momentum for the labor market.

"The

favorable trend

in the labor market is continuing thanks to

the strong economy

and the onset of spring," said BA head Frank-Jürgen Weise.

Good news for the eurozone

Compared with March of last year, the number of jobless Germans was down by 123,000.

In 2014, the German economy expanded by 1.6 percent, with the last quarter of the year alone contributing a sizable 0.7 percent to its gross domestic product (GDP).

Unemployment in the eurozone also dropped to its lowest level in nearly three years, falling to 11.3 percent in February. For January, the European Union's statistics agency, Eurostat, revised the jobless level up to 11.4 percent over previous estimates.

A total of 18.2 million people were out of work across the common currency area in February, down 49,000 from a month before.

el/cjc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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