German jobless rate down to new historic low | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 30.05.2018
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German jobless rate down to new historic low

Fewer people have been out of work in Germany in May than at any time since the country's reunification in 1990, official figures have shown. Potential risks did not stop the hiring spree of companies across the nation.

Just 5.2 percent of the German workforce was unemployed in May, fresh seasonally adjusted figures from the Federal Labor Agency (BA) showed Wednesday, a fall of 0.1 percent from April levels.

In unadjusted terms, which are less representative of underlying trends but more widely used in public debate, the jobless rate was under 5.1 percent, or 2.3 million people.

Unemployment in Europe's powerhouse has been dropping for years, driven by a strong global appetite for German goods and healthy consumer demand at home.

New historic low

The May figure meant a drop of 182,000 unemployed people year on year and the lowest jobless rate ever recorded since the country reunified in 1990.

BA President Detlef Scheele emphasized that he saw no trend reversal on the horizon despite growing uncertainty about the direction of global trade.

He added that the agency would step up its efforts to reduce the number of long-term unemployed in Germany which had only decreased by 79,000 year on year.

Labor agency officials note that slower first-quarter growth and weakened confidence indicators had not put firms off their hiring spree.

Germany's economy expanded by 2.2 percent in 2017. Government and private-sector forecasts have suggested that growth rate will be maintained or even exceeded in 2018.

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