Jobless figure in Germany falls to record low in October

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BERLIN, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The number of the unemployed in Germany has fallen to a new record low in in October, figures published Tuesday by the country's Federal Labor Office show.

According to the Nuremberg-based institution, the number of unemployed Germans dropped by an annual rate of 185,000 to 2.2 million in October, hence the official unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to its lowest ever level of 4.9 percent. It was the first time since the beginning of measurements following German reunification that the rate was put at below 5 percent.

Separate figures published by the Federal Statistical Office Tuesday further revealed that the number of employed Germans had reached a historical high in another sign of the current strength of the national labor market.

According to the Wiesbaden-based government agency, 45 million Germans were officially employed in September. The number marked an increase of 1.3 percent or 557,000 individuals compared to the same period last month and was the overall largest recorded by the Federal Statistical Office since its official measurements began after German reunification in 1990.

Between August and September 2018, employment rose by 0.5 percent or 216,000. The resulting rate of increase was in roughly line with the monthly average witnessed during the past five years in Germany.

Having already experienced seven consecutive years of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the largest economy in the Eurozone has been benefiting from a longer-standing trend towards unprecedented levels of employment. The federal government in Berlin forecasts that the average annual number of Germans in work will rise by 1 million to a total of 45.3 million between 2017 and 2019.

Speaking to Xinhua on Tuesday, Holger Schaefer, labor market expert at the German Economic Institute (IW), highlighted that the positive momentum of German jobs data so far still appeared to be unperturbed by a recent deterioration in forecasts for national growth. "The increase in employment is continuing without a slowing of pace from the slightly weaker growth outlook being noticeable," Schaefer said.

Schaefer also noted that falling unemployment was a visible phenomenon across diverse socio-economic categories of inhabitants in Germany. "In spite of the immigration of refugees, the number of recipients in the Hartz IV system (of welfare benefits for long-term unemployed) is still declining. The upward trajectory of the labor market is reaching this area too," Schaefer told Xinhua. Enditem

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