The latest German jobless statistics show that solid economic growth led companies to hire more people in December while unseasonably warm weather meant the construction industry kept on more workers. The figures recorded a sharp drop when adjusted for seasonal factors.
However, the most commonly used figure in Germany – that is not seasonally adjusted – showed the number of unemployed Germans was up by 12,000 taking the total to just over four million. The unemployment rate was steady at 9.6% of the working population.
The head of the Federal Labour Agency, Frank-Juegen Weise said: “There is a continuing increase in wages that are subject to social insurance contributions and companies’ demand for workers remains at a high level.”
German politicians, who have made employment a priority, are pleased, but Thea Dueckert of the Green Party warned: “Long-term unemployment is a crucial problem. It’s increased, despite the positive benchmark data, Moreover we have problems in job training. Now is not the right time to sit back and take things easy.”
Last year Germany created as many as 258,000 new jobs – the strongest increase in six years – as Europe’s largest economy emerged from several years of sluggish growth.