The number of people out of work in Germany unexpectedly declined in June, underscoring the strength of the domestic economy.
The total fell by 12,000 to 2.94 million, in figures adjusted for seasonal factors, like the weather.
The jobless rate stayed at 6.8 percent of the workforce, by ILO calculations. That is close to the lowest level since the reunification of East and West Germany more than two decades ago and it has boosted consumer morale there to its highest in almost six years.
Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen said: “There has been a further increase in the number of people in work, from an already high level; the total is is now 41.84 million. That means additional contributions to social security programmes. And in our stable economy we have a relatively high number of unfilled jobs – 950,000.”
With so many vacancies in Germany, Europeans from places struggling with spiralling unemployment are on the move, heading there, helped by the fact that Berlin has been funding apprenticeship schemes in other countries .
It has signed agreements with Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain to set up vocational education, combining on-the-job training with classroom studies.