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German unemployment remains steady at 6 per cent in November as labour market remains strong

BERLIN – Germany’s unemployment rate remained at 6 per cent in November, as the labour market in Europe’s biggest economy remained strong.

The Federal Labor Agency on Tuesday reported 16,000 fewer jobless in November, with 2.63 million Germans unemployed.

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the rate fell to 6.3 per cent from October’s 6.4 per cent, the best figure since German reunification. Experts predicted an unchanged rate.

IHS economist Timo Klein said Germany’s job market is growing, and has been bolstered by an increase in the labour force helped by rising migration from troubled eurozone countries and eastern Europe.

“The massive increase in the refugee influx (mostly from the war-torn Middle East) in recent months will strengthen this tendency during 2016 as more and more asylum seekers obtain right of residence, although by the same token unemployment will also increase modestly due to a combination of the sheer numbers of refugees and the need to raise their qualification levels first,” Klein said.

The German figure is calculated differently from the European Union’s official statistics, which put the country’s unemployment rate at 4.5 per cent in October.