German Unemployment Rises Less Than Expected

Joblessness in Germany increased less than expected in February despite the economy undergoing severe downward pressures, official data revealed Thursday.

The number of people out of work increased only by 4,000 in March, the Federal Labor Agency reported. The figure was forecast to rise by 10,000 after increasing 12,000 in February.

The unemployment rate came in at 5.9 percent, the same as in February and also came in line with expectations.

Unemployment and underemployment did decrease in March, but less than usual this month, Federal Employment Agency Chief Andrea Nahles said. The economic downturn is still having an impact on the labor market, Nahles added.

Another data from Destatis showed that the adjusted jobless rate held steady at 3.2 percent in February. The number of unemployed totaled 1.41 million in February, which was an increase of 5,000 on January.

On an unadjusted basis, the jobless rate was 3.5 percent, up from 3.0 percent in the previous year.

Employment increased by 0.4 percent or 194,000 on year in February. The long-term upward trend on the labor market continued at a slower pace, Destatis said.

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