Slowdown hits labour market as German unemployment rises

By Thomson Reuters Feb 29, 2024 | 3:05 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of people out of work in Germany increased more than expected in February as a slowdown in Europe’s largest economy took its toll on the labour market, Federal Labour Office figures showed on Thursday.

The office said the number of unemployed grew by 11,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.713 million. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected that figure to rise by 7,000.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained stable at 5.9%.

“The weak economic environment is dampening the overall robust labour market,” Labour Office head Andrea Nahles said.

There were 706,000 job openings registered with the office in February, 72,000 fewer than a year ago.

In its latest economic projections, the government warned that momentum in Germany’s labour market had waned and would remain low in first few months of 2024.

It also slashed its economic growth forecast for this year to 0.2% from 1.3% previously.

(Reporting by Rachel More; Editing by Miranda Murray, Madeline Chambers)