One of the great enigmas about the current economic slowdown in Germany is the way unemployment continues to fall and employment continues to rise, even as retails sales drop, and exports weaken. German unemployment fell again in September as machine makers hired people to work off an order backlog. The number of workers without jobs, adjusted for seasonal variations, dropped by 29,000 to 3.18 million after falling 40,000 in August, according to data from the Federal Labor Agency out today.
According to the latest comparable data of ILO equivalent measures published by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany's jobless rate was 7.3 percent in July. France, Germany's main trading partner, reported 7.3 percent unemployment compared with 4 percent in Japan and 5.7 percent in the U.S. The OECD average was 5.8 percent.
In a separate report the Federal Statistical Office, using a slightly different methodology (the monthly labour survey) announced that in August 2008 the number of persons in employment was 40.27 million. That was an increase by 558,000 persons (+1.4%) on August last year.
In August 2008, the number of persons in employment in Germany amounted to 40.30 million after elimination of the typical seasonal variations. That was a seasonally adjusted increase by 42,000 persons (+0.1%) on July 2008.
Based on the labour force survey, and according to the definitions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate – which is harmonised across the EU and measured as the share of unemployed in the total labour force – amounted to 7.2% in Germany and was thus considerably below the level of August 2007 (8.3%).
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