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Business

Spaniards, Greeks flock to Germany for work

The crisis in the EU's southern periphery led to a spike in the number of Spaniards and Greeks seeking jobs in Germany last year. But the influx has been no problem for the labor market, according to German authorities.

The number of jobseekers from crisis-hit Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy hired by German companies soared 7.6 percent in 2012, according to data released by the German Labor Agency (BA) on Thursday.

Compared to 2011, 33,000 people more from the four debt-laden countries took up a job in Germany, outpacing the general rate of job creation in the country, which came in at 1.1 percent last year, BA said.

Spaniards were especially successful in the German labor market, as their numbers grew 15.8 percent to a total of 49,400 people from that country being employed here. German jobs held by Greeks climbed 10.8 percent to reach 123,300 overall last year.

In 2012, German unemployment was the lowest in more than 20 years, the Labor Agency said Thursday, adding that it expected the labor market to remain in robust shape despite a brief economic downturn this winter.

The BA data also showed an even higher influx of jobseekers from eastern Europe. Last year, the number of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Slovaks, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians working in Germany rose by 88,000, which was 31 percent higher than in 2011.

uhe, tm (Reuters, dpa)