The German government is making the most of the latest jobless figures, which show unemployment has dipped below four million for the first time in four years. It is now eight straight months of falls, with the latest three times stronger than predicted. The unadjusted unemployment rate is now nine point six percent.
In January a horrific five million plus Germans were jobless. However analysts add German companies have only just begun to hire new workers, so the falling trend is set fair to continue. The Federal Labour Agency claims the data means the labour market has turned, and that Germany is now one of the industrialised world’s fastest growing economies.
It is all quite a triumph for Chancellor Angela Merkel, but her Social Democrat coalition allies will not allow her to take all the credit. The change has been made possible by an end to political infighting, which paralysed labour market reform. With those enacted, Germany’s leaders must turn to their next problems, including still-falling retail sales figures. German overall unemployment remains high, and to tackle that reforms in education and training are being considered, but at least the return to work means next January’s three point rise in VAT will be more easily affordable for some.