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German unemployment declined in March despite rising infections, data from the Federal Employment Agency showed on Wednesday.

The number of people out of work decreased 8,000 from the previous month, when it was up 9,000. Economists had forecast an annual fall of 3,000. The number of unemployed totaled 2.75 million.

The jobless rate held steady at 6.0 percent in March, in line with expectations.

In March there was a noticeable spring recovery on the labor market – even though the infections are increasing and the restrictions for some areas of the economy still exist, Federal Employment Agency CEO Detlef Scheele said.

Overall, however, the labor market continues to show very clear traces of the crisis that has now been going on for a year, Scheele added.

Elsewhere, data from Destatis on Wednesday showed that the ILO jobless rate fell marginally to adjusted 4.5 percent in February from 4.6 percent in January. On an unadjusted basis, the rate remained unchanged at 4.6 percent.

According to a report released by the ifo institute, Germany’s labor market is starting to recover, despite the lockdown. The ifo employment barometer rose sharply to 97.6 points in March, up from 94.5 points in February. This was its highest level since February 2020.


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