Germany has suffered its biggest jump in unemployment since the start of the global economic crisis.
The jobless total in March rose for a fifth straight month. It was up by 69,000 from February in seasonally adjusted terms taking into account factors like weather. The headline unadjusted figure was also up compared with the previous month, it is the first time that has happened in March since World War Two. The unadjusted jobless rate is now 8.6 percent of the working population. The figures would be higher but for companies cutting people’s hours instead of laying them off. German Employment Minister Olaf Scholz said: “Many companies are facing a fall in orders and reduced demand. More and more you see the effect that’s having on the jobs market. And that means another rise in unemployment.” Given the latest accelerating figures, analysts said the Berlin government is likely to extend the period for which companies can put workers on shortened working hours beyond the current 18 months.