German jobless at lowest level in 20 years

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German jobless at lowest level in 20 years

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German unemployment fell much further than expected in September.

The total of people out of work was 6.6 percent of the workforce. That is not adjusted for season factors, which is the headline figure used in Germany.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed the number of unemployed fell by 26,000 to 6.9 percent of the workforce.

They were the best September figures since reunification of east and west German 20 years ago.

The head of the Labour Agency, Frank-Jürgen Weise, said: “The job market has continued to improve despite the international financial risks and irrespective of the turbulence in the stock markets.”

German companies are still hiring despite fears of a coming economic slowdown.

Surveys show small and mid-sized companies, which employ almost three-quarters of the workforce, remain confident.

However economists do expect job growth there to ease as orders slow.

The clouds on the horizon mostly have to do with the business outlook in key export markets, where growth forecasts have been scaled back. The United States for example is Germany’s second largest export market.