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Germany logs lower-than-expected drop in unemployment

Unemployment across Europe's economic powerhouse has decreased slightly. But the May drop hasn't been as strong as in previous years, causing some unease among pundits over the labor market outlook.

In most years, Germany experiences a seasonal economic upswing in spring. This year’s upswing had been losing momentum, the Nuremberg-based Federal Employment Agency (BA) said Wednesday during a presentation of national job figures for May.

It said a net total of 61,000 more people had jobs in May compared with April, lowering the overall number of jobless people to 2.88 million.

But the agency emphasized the dip was not as pronounced as in previous years, when about 100,000 jobs were added in the month of May.

Moaning at a high level

"The economic uptick in the spring season has weakened," BA chief Frank-Jürgen Weise said in a statement. "But all in all, I'd still speak of a robust labor market."

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The unemployment rate, measuring the number of people looking for jobs as a proportion of the working population, was unchanged at 6.7 percent in seasonally adjusted terms.

After ironing out seasonal blips in May, unemployment rose by 23,900. That took analysts by surprise, as they'd expected a decline of about 15,000.

hg/nz (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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