WUNDERBAR: Less than 5% of Germans are looking for a job
The unemployment rate in Germany fell in March to 4.9%, its lowest level since the reunification of the country in 1990, according to figures released Friday by the Employment Agency. In raw data, less representative of a basic trend but which serve as a reference in the public debate, the number of unemployed fell by 72,000 over one month, to 2.3 million, and 157,000 over one year.
The gross unemployment rate also fell one month to 5.1% in March, after 4.9% in December and 5.3 in January and February. “The job market remains the best insurance against fears of recession, despite the clear signs of a slowdown,” said ING economist Carsten Brzeski.
The country has yet crinkled the recession
Germany narrowly escaped the “technical” recession at the end of the year as gross domestic product (GDP) stagnated in the fourth quarter after falling 0.2% in the previous quarter, and the government is not waiting than 1% growth this year.
“But employment is a lagging indicator of the economy,” recalls Carsten Brzeski, and the economic upswing could eventually produce its effects “in the coming months”. In detail, the unemployment rate is lowest in Bavaria (3.0%) and Baden-Württemberg (3.1%), compared to 9.8% in the city-state of Bremen and 7.8% in Mecklenburg-Pomerania and Berlin.