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January 29, 2010

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Home » Business » Economy

Germany sees climb in jobless to 8.6%

GERMAN unemployment jumped in January to 8.6 percent, or 3.617 million people, official data showed yesterday, as Europe's biggest economy continues to fight its way out of its worst economic crisis in decades.

The Federal Labor Office said 342,000 more people were unemployed compared with December, when the jobless rate was 7.8 percent, with unusually early and cold winter weather contributing to a loss in jobs and productivity.

Seasonally adjusted, the unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent.

The office said the effects of the economic crisis were acute, though considering the massive decline in production, it has so far only had a moderate affect on the labor market.

The office said German short time work programs continued to stabilize employment levels. The government set up a program that compensated companies for keeping employees on shorter work weeks and less pay to respond to drops in demand.

Official estimates show Germany's economy fell 5 percent in 2009.


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