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Thursday 15th of July 2010
April 29, 2010    

German unemployment rate in surprise fall

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by Kay Murchie
German unemployment rate in surprise fall

The Federal Labour Agency has today announced German unemployment fell sharply in April to 8.1%, from 8.5% the previous month.

The latest fall means the unemployment rate in the euro zone’s largest economy is at the lowest level since January 2009.

The agency’s chief, Frank-Juergen Weise, said: “There was an unexpectedly strong springtime upturn on the labour market in April. The current trend is encouraging.”

Germany’s job market is much stronger than in many other countries and many believe it is the result of the “Kurzarbeit” scheme, introduced by the German Government, designed to prevent mass redundancies.

Meanwhile, the figures came just a few days after the GfK research group said that German consumer confidence had risen more than expected.

In a statement, GfK said: “Signs that the German economy is recovering are getting stronger. And consumers are taking them increasingly seriously, as their improved optimism shows.

In related news, it was reported yesterday that Spain’s unemployment rate has reached 20.05% – the highest level in 13 years.

The economy has been hit by a severe slump within its key construction industry, which has led to a significant amount of job losses.

Spain’s jobless rate is double the 10% for the euro zone as a whole with the total number of jobless in the country at 4.61 million.

The Spanish economy, which is the euro zone’s fourth largest, now has the highest rate of unemployment within the 16-member euro zone.

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