Unemployment in Germany has again dipped slightly in absolute terms, but market experts warn the marginal drop failed to meet their expectations. The eurozone debt crisis is beginning to take its toll.
The total number of people out of work in Germany fell by 46,174 in June in unadjusted terms, to stand at 2.809 million, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) in Nuremberg reported on Thursday. On a year-on-year basis, the number fell by 84,000 people.
The unadjusted jobless rate thus dropped to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent in May, the agency calculated.
Market analysts had expected a stronger decline in raw terms. They attributed the merely marginal change to the ongoing eurozone debt crisis, which has caused employers to be more reluctant to hire staff of late.
Adjusted for seasonal effects, the picture looks even worse, with the number of job seekers in Europe's economic powerhouse rising from May to June by 7,000.
"The risks for the economy have increased, and the labor market is showing first signs of weakening," Federal Employment Agency Chief Frank-Jürgen Weise said in a statement.
He added that Germany was far from experiencing a real job crisis as the economy remained relatively robust, given the magnitude of market uncertainties on the continent. The agency said it was confident the labor market would pick up momentum again in the fall of this year.
hg/ncy (dpa, dapd, AFP)