Only slight increase in unemployment
Unemployment in Germany is at its lowest level in 15 years and was better than expected this January, despite stock market volatility and fears of a US recession. The number of unemployed increased in January by 253,000 to 3.66 million, according to a report by the Federal Agency of Employment (BA) on Thursday. January and February are usually slow months for the economy, however, the milder weather might have helped to soften the seasonal effect.
“The positive development of the employment market is continuing,” Frank-Jürgen Weise, CEO the Federal Agency of Employment told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “No skid marks are visible on the employment market as of yet,” he added.
He continued that the BA has a positive outlook on employment for 2008, despite turbulence in the financial markets and the slower pace of growth. The BA expects unemployment to rise slightly in February.
“Despite the bank crisis and the Nokia closing, we can be confident again” said Olaf Scholz, the Federal Minister for Employment and a centre-left SPD politician in a speech in Berlin. He spoke of a “robust upswing in the employment market.”