The number of people out of work in Germany fell by a bigger-than-expected 38,000 in June according to the Federal Labour Office. The jobless total, adjusted for season factors, is now at its lowest in almost 16 years at 3.27 million.
The unadjusted figure, which is more commonly used in Germany, dropped by 123,000, with the number of jobless now at 7.5% of the working population.
Frank Juergen Weise, who heads the employment office, gave his assessment of the future: “Over the next few months, the jobless rate will go up because young people will be leaving school and because during the summer time fewer people will be employed. But after that the unemployment rate will go down again and will average 3.4 million over the year.”
Apart from a small upward blip in May, unemployment has fallen steadily from a post-war high above five million in March 2005. Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the jobless figures, but also expressed concern about accelerating inflation.