German unemployment drops to 7.1 per cent in March as economic growth bolsters spring increase

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BERLIN – Germany’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 per cent in March, as the usual springtime increase in jobs was aided by stronger economic growth.

The Federal Labor Agency reported Tuesday that 3.06 million people were registered as unemployed in March, down 83,000 from the previous month, when the jobless rate stood at 7.3 per cent . When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

The government’s panel of independent economic advisers last month raised its 2014 growth forecast for Germany to 1.9 per cent from 1.6 per cent, following feeble growth of 0.4 per cent last year.

Labour Agency head Frank-Juergen Weise says the uptick in growth has already been helping the labour market.

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