Unemployment in Germany rose last month for the first time since February 2006, thus bringing inauspiciously to an end an unprecedented 34 month labour-market recovery. Figures released by the Federal Labour Agency today show that the number of those seeking employment in Germany rose by a seasonally-adjusted 18,000 in December. The change is small, but the significance is great, since this is obviously but the first month of many when unemployment will rise in Germany, and this rising unemployment will now, in its turn, feed back into the industrial slowdown which is already underway. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged (following data revisions for previous months) at 7.6 percent.
Not a surprise. But not good news.