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Jobs

German unemployment hovers above 3 million

Unemployment in Germany has fallen, according to the latest labor market data. But a fresh report has revealed that the number of jobless still hovers above the 3 million mark.

Unemployment in Germany fell in March, according to the latest figures from the Federal Employment Agency (BA), but the number of jobless remained above 3 million.

The positive trend, albeit a slight one, left overall unemployment in Germany at 7.1 percent, one of the lowest in the 18-nation eurozone. Compared to one month ago, some 83,000 fewer Germans were looking for work, the agency said Tuesday.

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"Positive developments in the labor market continued in March," said Frank-Jürgen Weise, head of the Federal Employment Agency. "In addition to the usual springtime boost, solid economic indicators are visible in the labor market as well."

Seasonally-adjusted figures reflected an east-west divide. In western German states, the number of unemployed dropped by 2,000, compared to 10,000 in the east.

Other unemployment data for the whole of the eurozone, released Tuesday by the European Union statistics office Eurostat, put the number of jobless across the bloc at 11.9 percent - a figure that has held steady for four consecutive months.

But there was little evidence of recovery in the fragile economies of the eurozone's weaker members. Spain and Greece again reported the highest unemployment rates of over 25 percent.

cjc/tj (Reuters, dpa)

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