Germany reports unexpected jump in unemployment

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Unemployment in Germany climbed more than predicted in June as a result of “difficult economic conditions,” according to an official study released this week.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of individuals out of work increased by 28,000 from the previous month, according to the Federal Employment Agency (BA). According to the data, there was a 13,000 increase from the previous month in May. Reuters polled analysts, who predicted an increase of 13,000 in June.

According to the BA, the country’s jobless rate typically falls in the early summer. In June, it declined by 28,000, or 1%, on average in the three years preceding the coronavirus pandemic.

However, unemployment rates in all 16 German federal states have risen this year compared to the same month in 2022.

“The more difficult economic conditions are now being felt in the labour market,” labour office head Andrea Nahles told Reuters. “Unemployment is rising, and job growth is slowing,” she noted.

Germany has the largest economy in the EU and one of the lowest jobless rates on the continent. According to the Labour Office, the number of persons out of employment in the country climbed by 8% year on year in June. The overall number of unemployed people is 2,555,000, not seasonally adjusted.

The sharp increase in unemployment rates can be linked in part to the migration of Ukrainian refugees. Since February 2022, almost a million migrants have arrived in Germany from Ukraine.

At this time last year, the German government launched a job-assistance programme for Ukrainian refugees, and unemployment increased by 103,000, or 5%, month on month, compared to June 2021.

According to official data, 193,000 Ukrainian citizens are unemployed in Germany as of this month. According to the BA, 499,000 employable Ukrainians are registered with job centres and employment agencies in Germany, up from 20,000 in February 2022.

However, the labour office stated that even without Ukrainian refugees, unemployment in Germany would have increased year on year. The country’s inflation rate unexpectedly increased to 6.4% in June, up from 6.1% in May, according to preliminary figures from the German statistics agency released on Thursday.

Germany has been in a “technical recession,” with its GDP contracting for two quarters in a row, at the end of 2022 and the start of 2023. The German central bank stated on Monday that the recession will end in the spring quarter, and that GDP would “rise slightly” from April to June.