German unemployment remained largely unchanged in May after a slump in exports and investment sent the economy off into its worst quarterly contraction on record in the first three month of this year The number of people out of work increased a seasonally adjusted 1,000 to 3.46 million, according to todays data from Federal Labor Agency although the figures were slightly distorted by a new law that means the agency has to change the way it counts the unemployed. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was even down to 8.2 percent, from 8.3 percent in April.
German unemployment began to increase in November after falling steadily for more than three years. Germany's leading economic institutes predict the country will lose 1.4 million jobs this year and next, pushing the average number of unemployed to a five-year high of 4.7 million.
According to data also out today from the Federal Statistical Office, the number of Germans in employment was 39.96 million in April. When compared with a year earlier, this represents a decrease of 130,000 (–0.3%). Thus rhe economic crisis is slowly but surely having an impact on the labour market despite all the measures to encourage companies to hold on to workers.
Compared to March, the number of those employed was up by 68,000 persons (+0.2%) in April. In comparison with earlier years, that is an unusually small increase, which seems to indicate that the usual labour market upturn in spring will be small this year. In the last five years, the number of persons in employment rose by an average 164,000 persons from March to April.
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