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German labor market improves

January 6, 2014

At the end of 2013, the labor market in Germany remained in robust shape, according to latest Labor Agency (BA) data. Despite employment being already at a record high, demand for labor continued to climb in December.

Deutschland Wirtschaft Einwanderer Migranten bei der Arbeit
Image: Getty Images

Demand for labor in Germany, measured by its job market index, had grown by three points to a total of 152 points month-on-month in December, the German Labor Agency (BA) announced Monday.

The forward-looking barometer indicated that job creation in Europe's biggest economy would remain robust at the beginning of 2014, BA said.

Noting that the index was still 28 points short of its peak in November 2011, the agency said that low but steady economic growth last year and improving prospects for 2014 were causing German businesses to continue hiring.

According to latest figures from October 2013, employment in Germany reached a record high in the month with 42.2 million people having jobs. That was 252,000 more than in the same months in 2012.

The Labor Agency noted that many of Germany's long-term unemployed, however, didn't benefit from the jobs boom because of a lack of qualification. Those who were taking up the new jobs were mostly women and skilled foreigners, it added.

Nominal unemployment was therefore expected to slightly increase in December and January, economists polled by Reuters news agency said. They forecast a rise from 2.8 million jobless Germans in November to about 2.9 million in December. Official unemployment figures for the last month of 2013 will be released by the Labor Agency on Tuesday.

uhe/tj (dpa, Reuters)