German unemployment hits record low since 1990

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German unemployment fell to a historical low in October, official figures showed on Thursday.

The Federal Labor Office recorded 2.389 million unemployed Germans in October, marking a record low since German reunification in 1990.

It marked a monthly decline of 60,000 compared to September and an annual decline of 151,000 compared to October 2016. The unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percent to 5.4 percent. The seasonally-adjusted figure of jobless in October was slightly higher at 2.495 million.

Federal Labor Office director Detlef Scheele welcomed the news as further evidence of Germany’s booming labor market.

The fall in unemployment was underpinned by stronger than anticipated economic growth in Germany as well as the wider eurozone in the third quarter of 2017. The Federal Labor Office noted that both employment as well as the demand for new staff had risen in German firms.

The Federal Labor Office’s monthly index for vacancies rose by one point to 245 points. The government agency emphasized that demand for workers in “many sectors” of the economy was thus even higher than last year.

Most economists surveyed by German news agency dpa on Thursday shared the Federal Labor Office’s optimism that Germany’s jobs boom would continue.

Bayern LB analyst Stefan Kipar warned, however, that unemployment could rise by as many as 100,000 jobless in 2018 as growing numbers of refugees were officially registered as unemployed.

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