Published: 02 August 2017 Wednesday, 05:32 AM
Bonn, 2 August (deutschenews24.de/dpa)- German unemployment fell more than forecast in July, with the jobless rate holding steady at a historic low of 5.7 per cent as the number of job vacancies in the country hit a record high, according to data released on Tuesday.
Monthly jobless queues in Europe`s biggest economy contracted for the ninth consecutive month, dropping by 9,000 to 2.537 million in seasonally adjusted terms, the Federal Labour Agency said.
Analysts had expected the data to show unemployment falling by 5,000.
The healthy state of the labour market is likely to help Chancellor Angela Merkel as she campaigns for a fourth term in September`s national election.
"I do not see a change in the current trend in the labour market this year," said Labour Agency chief Detlef Scheele, shrugging off economists` forecasts that falling unemployment could come to an end in the coming months.
"The news from the labour market is positive," he said. "Employment has risen strongly again and business demand for new employees is continuing to rise at a high level."
Employment now stands at a record high 44.2 million, according the Federal Statistics Office.
Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies in the nation climbed to 750,346 in July from 730,802 in June and 673,889 in July last, the labour agency said.
The Nuremberg-based labour agency said on Monday the number of job vacancies in the nation hit a record high in July with its BA-X indicator measuring employment demand rising three points to reach a reading of 238 points this month.
At 5.7 per cent, the July jobless rate remained at its lowest level since German unification in 1990.
In seasonally unadjusted terms, however, unemployment in July rose by 45,000 to 2.518 million as result of the traditional summer slowdown in the labour market.
The drop led to the unadjusted jobless rate edging up to 5.6 per cent this month from 5.5 per cent in June, the labour agency reported.
Still, seasonally unadjusted unemployment was 143,000 lower than in the same month year.
Germany`s solid jobs market has been a key factor in driving private consumption in the country, with household spending emerging as an important pillar of the nation’s economic growth rate.
However, data released on Tuesday pointed to Germany`s manufacturing sector losing momentum in recent months.
Total orders for the nation`s key mechanical engineering industry rose by 2 per cent in June compared with the same month last year, according to the industry association VDMA.
But while June foreign orders rose by 4 per cent, domestic orders slumped by 3 per cent.
The London-based IHS BME said its closely watched Purchasing Managers` Index (PMI) for the German manufacturing industry slipped from 59.6 points in June to a five-month low of 58.1 points in July.
Still, the PMI remained well above the 50 mark, which points to expansion in the sector. Analysts had predicted a decline to a July reading of 58.3.