German unemployment falls to 16-year low
Published on: 30 Sep 2008 11:49 CET
The total number of unemployed is 3.081 million, down to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent last month, according to data from the Federal Labour Agency.
The figures showed "that Germany is one of the few eurozone economies where labour market conditions are still improving," Capital Economics economist Jennifer McKeown noted to news agency AFP.
"This is a rare piece of good news for German consumers, although admittedly survey measures of hiring intentions point to a slowdown in employment growth to come," McKeown added.
Some 115,000 fewer people reported unemployment in September than the previous month, which was some 463,000 fewer than the same month last year, the labour agency reported from Nuremberg.
“These numbers are reassuring and show that the political reforms of the job market endure,” German employment minister Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday in Berlin. “But we need to arm ourselves for the future,” he said, adding that reduced long-term unemployment numbers are particularly encouraging.
Despite falling unemployment levels and rising wages, German consumers have lost their spending power as inflation increases the price of energy and food.
Germans shouldn't get too optimistic about the new unemployment figures though, Uni Credit Markets economist Alexander Koch warned news agency AFP, saying they are “traditionally a lagging economic indicator, and an end also to the downward trend in unemployment is in the cards."