German jobless rate dips to 7.3 percent in March

AP News
Posted: Mar 28, 2013 5:34 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's unemployment rate edged down to 7.3 percent in March as a traditional springtime upturn was limited by unusually cold weather.

The Federal Labor Agency said Thursday that the unadjusted jobless rate was down from 7.4 percent in February. The number of people registered as unemployed was 3.098 million — 58,000 fewer than the previous month.

In seasonally adjusted terms the unemployment rate was steady at 6.9 percent for the sixth consecutive month, in line with economists' forecasts.

Despite contracting in the last quarter of 2012, the German economy, Europe's biggest, has remained robust over the past few years, while several other countries in the euro area have struggled. That has bolstered the labor market; Germany's jobless rate contrasts with unemployment of more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain.