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Unemployment

German labor market 'robust' in November

The labor market in Germany appears to be successfully weathering the recession in the eurozone and weaker global growth. Unemployment dropped slightly in November, but was higher than normal for this month.

The number of Germans unemployed in November dropped slightly by about 2,000 to reach 2.75 million, latest data released by the German Labor Agency Thursday showed.

The November unemployment rate remained at 6.5 percent - the same rate as in October.

"The labor market remains robust in the face of a weakening growth dynamic," said Labor Agency chief Frank-Jürgen Weise.

However, compared with unemployment in the same month a year ago, jobless queues swelled by 38,000 people, the data showed.

Also the seasonally adjusted figure was up by 5,000 to reach 2.92 million. The Labor Agency said this was because the routine autumn upswing in the German labor market this year had failed to significantly dent unemployment as in previous years.

Nevertheless, the figure was better than predicted by analysts who had forecast an increase by 16,000 jobless people, in a poll carried out by the Reuters news agency.

HSBC Trinkhaus analyst Rainer Sartorius told Reuters that he didn't believe the labor market would see a downward spiral in the months ahead.

"Although unemployment might rise moderately during the winter, this will be made up for by a strong upswing in the coming spring," he said.

And VP Bank economist Bernd Hartmann told the same news agency that he thought unemployment had not yet bottomed out, but key economic indicators were signaling a stabilization would materialize in the near term future.

uhe/mz (Reuters, dpa)