German Unemployment Posts Surprise Decline in March

31 March 2021

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – German unemployment this month registered an unexpected decline, according to seasonally adjusted data released on Wednesday by the German Federal Employment Agency.

The number of unemployed decreased by 8,000 in March, following +9,000 in February and -37,000 in January. The unemployment rate was down 0.1 point to 6.0%.

Underemployment (excluding short-time work) was also down in March, falling a seasonally adjusted 10,000 after -10,000 in February and -27,000 in January.

According to the Employment Agency, the March declines in seasonally adjusted unemployment and underemployment were due above all to less people becoming unemployed after being employed.

The number of people in employment, data for which lag a month, decreased a seasonally adjusted 13,000 in February, after +13,000 in January and +10,000 in December.

‘In March there was a noticeable spring recovery on the labour market - even though the infections are increasing and the restrictions for some economic sectors still exist’, Detlef Scheele, head of the Employment Agency, said in a press release. ‘Overall, however, the labour market continues to show very clear traces of the crisis that has been going on for a year.’

According to the Employment Agency, a forward-looking labour market barometer suggests ‘positive prospects for the labour market development in spring.’