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French and German unemployed numbers drop

by whataboutbob Wed Aug 31st, 2005 at 11:35:05 AM EST

Well, after all the death and destruction of today, we at least have a good piece of news to report, from the BBC World News: that in both France and in Germany, the number of people unemployed have dropped: German jobless rates fall again

German unemployment has fallen for a fifth month, giving the government some good news ahead of a general election. The number of Germans out of work fell by 12,000 to 4.796 million in August, the Federal Labour Office said. The unemployment rate was steady at 11.6%.

When not adjusted for seasonal factors the picture looked better, with jobless numbers down by 44,000 to 4.728 million, and the rate sliding to 11.4%.

Job creation is likely to be one of the key issues in next month's election.

While Germany's unemployment rate is sitting stubbornly above 11%, in France it has fallen to its lowest level in two years, government figures showed on Wednesday.

France's jobless rate declined to 9.9% in July as the number of people looking for work dropped by 25,600 to 2.42 million.

So I am curious, what exactly is going on economically that both Germany and France are showing some slow but steady improvements in the jobs market? Whatever the reason, it is good news indeed.

...an earlier snapshot of consumer sentiment showed that shoppers were more optimistic about their prospects (even though spending was down).

Germany's government defended its record and said it still expected the economy to grow by 1% this year - a target it may top despite the record oil prices.

Speaking about unemployment, Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement said that it "remains on the decline".

"Forty-four thousand less in August - that is the strongest decline in unemployment in the month of August in Germany in the last 10 years," he explained.

But will this slow  but steady growth make a difference in how these respective populations view their current governments? In particular, is this too little, too late, for Schroeder? Or will people feel that he is starting to make progress and not want to change horses?

I'd guess it is too little, too late for Schroeder. Electorates usually react with some lag to economic news, probably because abstract official figures (be they positive or negative) often measure effects that take time to affect every day lives.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Sep 1st, 2005 at 06:48:42 AM EST

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