BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Germany's jobless stuck above 4 million
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at an election rally in Hamburg
Chancellor Schroeder's electoral chances stand and fall with the economy
German unemployment has inched downwards, but remains above the crucial 4 million mark just three weeks before a hotly contested general election.

The Federal Labour Office reported that unadjusted unemployment fell by 28,700 in the month to 4.018 million in August, a rate of 9.6%.

The change is unlikely to be enough to help Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's attempts to secure re-election, which have been hampered by the sluggish performance of the German economy.

Edmund Stoiber, Mr Schroeder's conservative opponent, has made political capital out of the relative success of Bavaria, the state where he serves as premier.

This is the last unemployment report before the 22 September poll, with pollsters saying the race is too close to call.

Here to stay?

Political considerations aside, there is still little optimism over attempts to beat joblessness back down to the 3.7m-3.8m levels it touched a year ago.

German unemployment
The latest dip is seen as the result of working to clean up this summer's floods, rather than any more lasting effect.

The country's persistently high unemployment relates to the depressed state of the eastern economy since unification in 1990, as well the fact that the country as a whole is emerging from recession far more slowly than hoped.

"Companies will remain under pressure to cut jobs, and I don't see any clear turnaround in the labour market in the foreseeable future, especially when growth forecasts are being revised down," said Rainer Guntermann of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

Office optimism

At the Federal Labour Office, the mood was a little more optimistic.

Edmund Stoiber
The weak economy is a gift for challenger Stoiber
The head of the office, Florian Gerster, said he expected unemployment to fall below four million in the next two months.

"I expect at the end of the year a pick up and from the beginning of next year a clear change in the trend in seasonally adjusted data," he said.

"The trend change is coming although perhaps not as soon as we would have liked."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Bernd Ziesener, Handelsblatt
"Unemployment and the general economic situation... is in the focus of the electorate"
See also:

07 Aug 02 | Business
07 Aug 02 | Middle East
06 Aug 02 | Europe
25 Jul 02 | Business
23 Jul 02 | Europe
18 Jul 02 | Europe
17 Jul 02 | Media reports
09 Jul 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes