German Jobless Data Could be Exaggeratedly High | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 29.06.2005
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German Jobless Data Could be Exaggeratedly High

The number of people officially registered as unemployed in Germany -- currently just under five million -- could well be exaggeratedly high, since the jobless total may include people who are not theoretically available for work, the Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday. In random spot checks conducted by the agency, around a fifth of cases revealed that the profiles of jobseekers appeared to contain "irregularities" or were implausible, labor spokesman Ulrich Waschki told AFP. Thus, a number of people, who might not actually be available for full-time work, were officially registered as unemployed, the spokesman said. In spot checks carried out by the labor agencies and the municipal authorities, the computer profiles of a number of jobseekers were examined closely. "And in around 20 percent of cases, we found irregularities or information that appeared to be implausible," Waschki said, quoting an example of a mother who had to take care of three small children at home. "The question needs to be clarified whether this woman is really available for work. If not, she should not officially be counted as unemployed," he said. Waschki refused to draw the conclusion that the German jobless total would have to be revised downwards substantially as a result. The latest monthly unemployment statistics are scheduled to be published on Thursday. But newspaper reports have said that the pan-German jobless total likely declined by around 60,000 to 4.75 million in June, largely as a result of seasonal factors.

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