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German jobless total falls, employment hits record high

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By Reuters
German jobless total falls, employment hits record high
A general view shows the city skyline seen from west to east Berlin, Germany, March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch   -   Copyright  Fabrizio Bensch(Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s jobless numbers fell further in August and employment reached a record high in July, data showed on Thursday, underlining the strength of a labour market that has become the anchor of a consumer-led upswing in Europe’s largest economy.

The Federal Labour Office said the seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 8,000 to 2.330 million. That was in line with an analysts’ forecast in a Reuters poll.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.2 percent, the lowest since German reunification in 1990.

In a further positive sign, seasonally adjusted employment as measured by the International Labour Organisation climbed to a record 44.7 million in July, separate data released by the Federal Statistics Office showed.

Household spending has become the main source of Germany’s economic expansion as record-high employment, increased job security, above-inflation pay hikes and low borrowing costs all help open shoppers’ wallets.

A survey on Wednesday showed, however, that the mood among German shoppers dipped for the second month in a row heading into September as income expectations fell, signalling a possible cooling of the economy in the third quarter.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Andrea Shalal)