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1ST LEAD Strong domestic, world economy pushes German unemployment rate down By Catherine Simon and Niels C Sorrells, dpa

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Nuremberg, Germany (dpa) - Germany‘s unemployment rate ticked downwards in March, hitting 5.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, according to data released Thursday by the country‘s Federal Employment Agency.

That represented 19,000 fewer unemployed people in the country. For February, the rate stood at 5.4 per cent. It was 5.8 per cent in March 2017.

Analysts said the figures were buoyed by a generally strong domestic and international economic performance.

"Demand for new employees remains at high levels," read the report.

In seasonally unadjusted terms, the rate dropped from 5.5 per cent to 5.3 per cent, meaning 88,000 more people had found work, leaving the overall number of unemployed at 2.458 million.

Despite a week of unseasonably cold temperatures in Germany, analysts still said some of the boost in employment could be chalked up to an annual spring surge, as people return to work on construction sites, at restaurants and in gardening.

Underemployment was also down, with 22,000 fewer people, in month-on-month seasonally adjusted terms, reportedly in jobs for which they were overqualified.

The agency reported 778,000 unfilled job positions, an increase of 86,000 from March 2017. On Wednesday, the agency reported that demand for workers had stayed steady since December, but that positions are going unfilled because workers are not being adequately trained.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the agency reported 44.32 million people employed in Germany in February, an increase of 45,000 versus January and 618,000 more than in February 2017.

Analysts with the Institute for Employment Research said Tuesday that the German labour market was at one of its strongest points in history, meaning even more jobs could open up in the near future, even holding out the possibility of full employment in the country.


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