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German joblessness rises


German joblessness rises


Unemployment was up in Germany for a fifth month running in August.

It is the latest in a string of disappointing data that adds to evidence Europe’s largest economy is feeling the effects of the eurozone crisis.

The seasonally-adjusted jobless total rose by 9,000 in August from July. The headline figure used in Germany – which is not adjusted for seasonal factors like weather – showed an increase of 29,000.

However the head of the Federal Labour Office, Frank-Jürgen Weise, said it was important not to read too much into these figures, which do not show a major increase in people out of work such as would come from a reversal in Germany’s economic situation.

He added: “We also have proof that, despite the economic situation Germany’s economy is still growing and that is reflected in the job market, which is moving sideways.”

The jobless rate was unchanged at 6.8 percent in August.

That is far below the 11.2 percent for the eurozone as a whole – in June – with roughly a quarter of the workforce unemployed in Greece and Spain.

But big German companies like retailer Metro, airline Lufthansa and Deutsche Bank are slashing thousands of jobs.

Others, like carmaker Opel and steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, are returning to government-subsidised short-time work schemes.

Rising jobless figures could become a headache for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces an election next year, and may reduce the willingness of average Germans to continue to bail out southern euro partners like Greece.

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