Germany’s employment situation remains encouragingly stable.
The jobless totals for February — not adjusted for seasonal factors, which is the headline figure in Germany — edged up. But analysts said was due to harsh winter weather hitting areas like building work.
The seasonally-adjusted jobless rate and total number of people out of work was unchanged from January.
The German Labour Agency sees no signs of economic weakening.
Agency head Frank-Juergen Weise said: “The labour market in February, was robust despite the slowing economy at the end of 2011 and the start of 2012. The demand for workers has eased slightly but it remains at a high level.”
But there was bad news on the jobs front from Arndt Geiwitz, the insolvency administrator for the German retailer Schlecker.
He announced the closure of around half of its 6,000 stores with nearly 12,000 workers being laid off.
“It is very harsh that Schlecker’s employees, some of whom have been with the company for a long time, are losing their jobs, and it is a decision that we did not take lightly,” Geiwitz said.
The administrator added Schlecker had failed to keep up with rivals in a rapidly changing consumer market and to survive it will have to cut costs, improve its product range, cut prices and refurbish its shops.