The number of people out of work in April fell by 65,000 over the previous month to 2.96 million. However, when account is taken of seasonal employment patterns, whereby employers generally take on more workers as winter draws to a close, this equates to a rise of 19,000.
The unemployment rate declined from 7.2 to 7 percent in raw terms, but the seasonally adjusted figure was unchanged at 6.8 percent.
But there was better news in the long-term perspective: the number of jobless Germans was 115,000 fewer than this time last year.
Those in work are taking fewer days off – new figures from the German Federal Statistical Office showed that over 11 million German citizens are working on Sundays and bank holidays.
The figures, reported in Die Welt newspaper, show a sharp increase from just ten years ago, when the figure was just 8.5 million.
The president of Christian Democratic Workforce, a workers' association, Karl-Josef Laumann, told Bild newspaper the development was worrying. “
“A Sunday at rest is part of our Christian culture,” he said. “It should not be given over to unfettered commerce and consumerism.”