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Number of German jobless rises over 4 million in December

Number of German jobless rises over 4 million in December

The number of Germans out of work edged over the 4 million mark in December, with 12,000 more unemployed than a month earlier, government data showed Wednesday _ although the figures showed a sharp drop when adjusted for seasonal factors.
The unemployment rate was steady at 9.6 percent compared with November, and the government pointed out as "pleasing" the better seasonally adjusted jobless count compared to a year earlier.
A total 4.008 million Germans were out of work in December, up from 3.995 million in the previous month, and rising back over the politically sensitive 4 million mark. In November, the total fell below that level for the first time since October 2002, when there were nearly 3.93 million jobless.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of people without a job dropped by 108,000 in December _ 597,000 fewer than were out of a job in the same month of 2005. Seasonal adjustments take into account fluctuations such as increased construction employment in summer.
"The increase in the number of jobless in December 2006 is much lower than usual," the agency said in a statement. "Seasonally it is an exceptionally strong decrease."
The labor agency credited an unusually mild winter and the overall upturn in the German economy for the lower seasonal numbers.
Chancellor Angela Merkel described the improvement as "pleasing," her spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.
"Building on this development, the government will continue efforts to ensure that this development is lasting and to achieve a further reduction in unemployment in the course of 2007," Wilhelm said.
Helped by a sustained boom in exports and more recently by increased business investment at home, Germany is emerging from years of sluggish growth. In the final months of the last year, the upturn has finally begun to make itself felt in the labor market.
For the year 2006 on average, 4.487 million Germans were without jobs, an overall improvement from the previous year that caused the annual unemployment rate to fall to an average 10.8 percent from 11.7 percent in 2005.


Updated : 2021-10-28 00:40 GMT+08:00