German unemployment stable despite recession warning

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany’s labour market remains robust, but is starting to feel the impact of a slowing economy, official data showed yesterday.

Federal Labour Agency (BA) Chief Detlef Scheele said in a statement that “the weak economic phase” Germany is experiencing has also left “a slight mark” on the job market amid fears of a looming recession, but “all in all, however, it is proving to be robust”.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed five per cent of people out of work in August, the same level for the previous three months consecutively. However in absolute terms – widely referenced in public debate but less representative of underlying trends – unemployment increased 44,000 month-on-month to 2.32 million people out of work.

Meanwhile, vacancies fell by 8,000 in August, also in adjusted figures – the fifth consecutive decrease in a row.

The slight drop in figures mirrors a more worrying trend in Europe’s biggest economy with the central bank or Bundesbank having last week issued a warning that Germany could enter recession in the third quarter.

File photo shows the river Main with the buildings of the banking district in background in Frankfurt, Germany. PHOTO: AP