German job growth weakens further

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German job growth weakens further

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German unemployment rose for a sixth month running in September as exports weakened amid the eurozone debt crisis.

There was a fall in the jobless total most commonly quoted by the German media, which is not adjusted for seasonal factors.

But the Federal employment agency pointed out that was due to a routine autumn upswing in the economy, and it noted the pace of German job creation is slowing month by month.

Joblessness remains near to its lowest level since German reunification more than two decades ago, and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.8 percent of the workforce on a seasonally adjusted basis, 6.5 percent unadjusted.

That contrasts starkly with the feeble labour market in other large European economies, including France and Spain.

However signs of weakness are increasing in Germany. Big firms like retailer Metro, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bank are cutting thousands of jobs.

Others like Opel, the German subsidiary of US carmaker General Motors, and steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, are returning to “Kurzarbeit”, a government-subsidised short-time work scheme that was used widely by German industry during the global financial crisis.

“The debt crisis is taking its toll,” said Andreas Scheuerle at Dekabank. “Companies are holding back on investing.”