German unemployment slightly up, but jobs market remaining robust | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.02.2014
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German unemployment slightly up, but jobs market remaining robust

The number of jobless Germans has slightly increased, inching up by about 2,000 people in February. The figure is better than usual for the month as an economic recovery supports the already robust German jobs market.

In the month of February, about 2,000 more Germans claimed unemployment benefits as the country's jobless figure edged up to 3.138 million people, according to latest data released by the German Labor Agency (BA) on Thursday.

The February unemployment rate, however, remained unchanged at 7.3 percent, the Nuremberg-based BA said.

The slight month-on-month increase was weaker than usual for February, the agency added, which was reflected in seasonally-adjusted figures that actually went down by 14,000 people to 2.914 million.

“The labor market has developed favorably in February as seasonally-adjusted unemployment has continued to drop and the job perspectives for the unemployed have improved, BA noted.

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Unlike most of its European Union partners, Germany has been able to maintain solid employment in the wake of the 2009 sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Supported by low but healthy economic growth, the German jobs market has been in robust shape in recent years, driving employment to new historic highs of more than 42 million working people.

According to data released by the Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, Thursday, the number of working Germans fell slightly in January to 41.68 million people. This, again, was below-average for the month, Destatis said, and showed signs of improvement as demand for labor was picking up.

In the coming months, labor market experts are expecting a stronger spring upswing in jobs than last year. This is because the country's economic recovery is forecast to gain traction, driving growth from a meager 0.4 percent in 2013 to 1.8 percent this year.

uhe/dr (dpa, Reuters)