BERLIN: Germany’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in July, the federal labour agency said Thursday, as Europe’s biggest economy rebounded in the summer after coronavirus restrictions were loosened in May.
Seasonally adjusted figures showed the number of unemployed people had dropped by a dramatic 91,000 this month, with the unemployment rate falling from 5.9 percent in June, reports AFP.
“The employment figures continue to grow, and businesses are now looking for more employees,” he added, pointing to the 744,000 new jobs which were registered this month, 171,000 more than in July 2020.
Before the pandemic struck last year and brought entire sectors of the economy to a standstill, Germany’s unemployment rate had hovered at record lows of around five percent.
The country relied heavily on subsidised short-time work schemes to weather the economic storm, with nearly six million Germans placed on reduced hours at the peak of the health crisis last April.
The scheme was still supporting 2.23 million people according to the latest available figures in May, the agency said.
In raw figures, the number of people in unemployment is now at just below 2.6 million.
As the more contagious Delta variant pushes up infection rates, Germany’s vaccination rate has also slowed after a surge in the spring.
With just over half the population now fully vaccinated, the country is still some way off the 80 percent targeted for herd immunity.