Germany’s unemployment climbed sharply in May for the first time in nearly two years, defying expectations for further decline, figures from the Federal Employment Agency showed on Wednesday.
The number of unemployed rose by 60,000 month-on-month, while economists had expected a decline of 7,000. In April, there was a fall of 12,000.
The jobless rate climbed to 5 percent in May, equaling the rate seen in February. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged at the record low of 4.9 percent logged in each of the previous two months.
The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment figure rose by 7,000 persons to 2.236 million from 2.228 million in April.
The first effects of the recent weak economic situation are becoming evident in the labor market, especially in jobless claims, the Chief of the Federal Employment Agency Detlef Scheele said in Nuremberg.
The greater part of the latest unemployment increase is attributable to a one-off effect from audit activities on the employment status of those receiving jobless benefit, Scheele added.
Demand of companies for new employees is noticeably weakening, but remains high, the official said.
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