German joblessness seen dropping below 3 million

German unemployment is likely to sink below three million this autumn amid strong job creation early this year, according to leading economists.

“I believe it’s possible that that joblessness will drop below the three-million mark in late autumn,” the head of the German council of economic advisors, Bert Rürup, told the Wednesday edition of Bild newspaper.

Rürup estimated, however, that the number of Germans out of work would still average 3.4 million in 2008.

Michael Heise, chief economist for Allianz and Dresdner Bank, agreed with Rürup’s positive forecast for the labour market of the world’s third largest economy. “Following the strong job creation in early 2008 it’s possible that unemployment could dip below three million in October – earlier than expected,” Heise said.

Although the world financial crisis still poses a serious threat to the economy, German has so far been relatively unscathed by the turbulence. “If the politicians now refrain from undoing the reforms and no obstacles to employment pop up, we’ll be surprised how fast unemployment continues to sink,” Heise told Bild.