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German jobless below 6 percent as employment remains strong

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/05/2017

BERLIN — Germany's unemployment rate has dipped below 6 percent as the labor market in Europe's largest economy strengthens further in what is an election year.

The Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday that the unemployment rate in April fell to 5.8 percent from 6 percent the previous month, with about 94,000 fewer people registered as jobless. In figures adjusted for seasonal variations the rate was also 5.8 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski said survey indicators suggest that the positive trend will continue.

He said in a research note that "the labor market will remain an important growth driver for the entire economy."

Brzeski said there is still "ample room for improvement," noting that the low-wage sector is still "huge" and the number of long-term unemployed remains high.

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