Germany’s jobless rate strikes new record low

BERLIN: Germany’s jobless ranks shrank further in September, striking a new record low since reunification in 1990, official data showed Friday, as the employment market in Europe’s biggest economy keeps humming.

The unemployment rate slid to 5.1 percent, with the number of people out of work falling 23,000 from a month ago, according to data adjusted for seasonal variation published by the employment agency.

The data, therefore, beat expectations of analysts surveyed by Factset, who had predicted the rate would remain unchanged from a month ago at 5.2 percent.

In adjusted terms, the number of jobless people fell 94,500 from a month ago, with 2.256 million people out of work — a rate of 5.0 percent.

“The development of the job market remains good,” said employment agency chief Detlef Scheele, noting that the number of people who are paying social contributions was continuing to grow.

Joerg Zeuner, the chief economist at public bank KfW, noted that Germany’s strong economic uptick remained driven by domestic demand as the job market was stable and salaries were progressively rising.

But he warned that there were many risks.

“Above all the threat from the US of a broad international trade conflict,” Zeuner said.

A shortage of skilled workers could also put a brake on growth, added the analyst.

The employment agency recorded 834,000 open job offers at the end of September.