Germany's July unemployment rate falls slightly

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Germany's unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percent in July, the Federal Labour Office said.

The number of jobless Germans dropped by 42 thousand to 4.8 million, but without seasonal adjustments, including summer breaks in job training and jobseeker holidays, it grew by 68 thousand and is close to a post-war record. Unemployment is projected to rise by 370 thousand by year end, according to German research institute IAB.

Labour-market problems remain the main issue of the Bundestag election campaign. Chancellor Schröder's government is blamed for the failure of his social policy reform known as Hartz IV and growing unemployment. In recent polls the ruling Social Democrats (SPD) got 27 percent of the vote whilst the opposition Christian Democrats got 44 percent.