World Economy

Italy, Germany Jobless Rate Falls

Italy, Germany Jobless Rate FallsItaly, Germany Jobless Rate Falls

Unemployment in Italy dropped by more than expected, hitting its lowest level in over four years, while Germany’s record low unemployment rate dipped even further in May, hitting a fresh post-reunification nadir of 5.7%.

Jobless numbers in Germany dropped by less than economists had forecast–falling by 9,000 compared to the 15,000 predicted–but the miss was not enough to stop the headline unemployment rate inching down from April’s 5.8%, Yahoo reported.

The German economy has entered something of a sweet spot in recent months, with record-low unemployment coinciding with expanding trade and accelerating growth. However despite being close to full employment Germany’s jobs market has yet to put much pressure on wages, with inflation remaining relatively subdued at 1.4%.

Germany’s jobless rate is now the lowest since records began in 1992, after the country’s unification in 1990.

Italy, in contrast, has been lagging behind its peers in the eurozone with growth of only 0.2% in the first quarter. However, while its unemployment rate is still well above Germany’s, it also recorded a strong improvement in May.

Separate data released Wednesday showed the country’s unemployment rate dropped significantly faster than expected to 11.1%–that is its lowest level since September 2012 and better than the 11.6% expected by economists.

Revisions to earlier data also meant that last month’s unemployment figures were better than previously thought, at 11.5% rather than the previously published 11.7%.

The last time the unemployment rate was this low was September 2012. April’s figure was below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of 6 analysts that produced a median forecast of 11.6%.

Youth unemployment, measuring job seekers between 15 and 24 years old, was flat in April at 34%, remaining at a five-year low. The March figure was revised down from a previously reported 34.1%.

The overall employment rate rose to 57.9%, its highest level in eight years, from a revised 57.7% in March (previously reported 57.6%).

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