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June 30, 2010

Unemployment in Germany has fallen to a 12-month low thanks to a modest recovery of Europe's largest economy.

Employment office
The situation improved in both eastern and western GermanyImage: AP

The number of Germans registered as unemployed in June dropped by 88,000 from the previous month, according to the German Federal Labor Office.

Compared to the same month last year 257,000 more people are now employed. Unemployment in Europe's biggest economy now stands at 7.5 percent, the lowest level since December 2008.

"The positive trend that we've seen on the labor market in the last months has continued in June," said Frank-Juergen Weise, chief of the labor office. "The crucial indicators have yet again improved."

Stripped of seasonal effects skewing the figures, the number of unemployed fell by 21,000, the labor office said. In total, 3.153 million people are out of work.

Fragile recovery

Germany has experienced a modest recovery over the past year, mostly based on a resurge in exports as the global economy is recovering from the recession.

Frank-Juergen Weise
Labor office chief Weise warns of too much optimismImage: AP

Weise however warned of too much optimism in the face of the new figures.

"The situation is better than we thought it would be, but it remains fragile," he said, adding there was a chance that by the end of the year the total number of jobless might drop to less than 3 million.

Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, welcomed the new figures, saying it was reassuring that also eastern Germany was experiencing the new trend. The former East Germany has for years had an alarmingly high unemployment rate.

Author: Andreas Illmer (dpa/AP/AFP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler