Germany and France go into the summer holiday period with their job markets already looking tanned and refreshed. Their positive figures follow those of Spain, which has its lowest unemployment rate for 30 years. Germany’s unadjusted jobless rate, which ignores seasonal factors, did rise slightly in July but that was expected what with all the school leavers signing on. But globally German unemployment is on a welcome downward trajectory, which is mirrored by that of France. A figure of eight percent unemployment is the lowest in France for 25 years. But this is still the highest rate of the 13 countries using the Euro.
For Germany the fall in unemployment is forecast to slow as it needs to find solutions for those out of work long-term and for the new batch of youngsters entering the job market. France must also do something about its under 25s. More than one in five is without work. But new President Nicolas Sarkozy will have been boosted by the data, as he looks to put in place measures to open the labour market. Tackling unemployment was his top pre-election pledge.