Germany's unemployment grew far more-than-expected in December, partly erasing the decline in the previous month, data from the Federal Employment Agency showed Friday.
The number of people out of work rose by a seasonally adjusted 8,000 persons, which was double the increase of 4,000 economists had predicted. The agency attributed the latest increase in unemployment mainly to the development in the unemployment insurance sector due to the economic downturn.
The decline in November was revised to 14,000 from 16,000 reported initially. In October, the joblessness grew by 7,000 persons. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was unchanged at 5 percent in December, in line with expectations.
Underemployment rose by 6,000 persons from the previous month, after a decline of 5,000 in November. "The labor market was largely stable at the end of the year," the Federal Employment Agency CEO Detlef Scheele said in a press conference in Nuremberg.
"However, traces of the economic downturn are evident." On a non-adjusted basis, the number of unemployed rose by 47,000 persons monthly to 2.227 million and the jobless rate climbed to 4.9 percent from 4.8 percent in the previous month.