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Germany

Spring employment boost fails to materialize

A much-hoped-for springtime jobs boost has failed to materialize, official German figures show.

Construction worker on construction site

Observers missed the hoped-for April job boost

The number of jobless dropped by a minimal 1,000 from March to 3.58 million, leaving the jobless level at 8.6 percent, according to German Labor Office figures.

"The recession in the German economy is increasingly having an effect on the labor market," commented labor office chief Frank-Juergen Weise.

No building-sector boost

The reduction in unemployment was exceptionally weak for April, which usually sees a seasonal boost in the construction sector and related sectors.

Indeed, adjusted for seasonal factors, unemployment actually rose by 58,000 in April from March, the government said.

The figures were released a day after the government predicted that gross domestic product would contract by six percent in 2009, making it one of the worst performing major economies worldwide.

Meanwhile, unemployment in the 16 countries that make up the Eurozone has risen by 0.2 percent to 8.9 percent, the highest level in over three years. Official figures show that over 400,000 jobs were lost across the eurozone bloc in March.

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