German unemployment hit by financial crisis

German unemployment hit by financial crisisBerlin - Germany's labour market is managing to weather the global downturn, according to data released Thursday.

The Federal Labour Office said seasonally adjusted unemployment, which reflects overall trends in the job market, fell by 6,000 this month to 3.480 million due to special labour market factors.

But when the special factors were not included seasonally adjusted unemployment rose 30,000, the Labour Office said. Analysts had predicted an increase of 50,000.

The July unemployment uptick followed a increase in unemployment figures of 31,000 in June.

However, in the politically important seasonally unadjusted terms, July unemployment climbed by 52,000 to 3.462 million. This was 252,000 more than the same last year.

The jobless rate edged up from 8.1 per cent in June to 8.2 per cent in July.

Up until now, government subsidized short-term work contracts have helped companies avoid mass layoffs despite the weakening economic environment.

But the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has forecast that German unemployment will hit 11.6 per cent in 2010.

Economists expect the German economy to contract sharply, by more than 6 per cent this year.

The projections of rising unemployment also comes in the buildup to September's general election in Germany, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's government facing the prospects of heading into the polls against the backdrop of lengthening jobless queues. (dpa)

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