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Financial News: German Employment Hits Record In 2018

German Employment Hits Record In 2018

01/02/2019 - 03:15:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's employment grew to a record high in 2018 despite a slowdown in the economy, preliminary figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Wednesday.

The number of employed grew by 562,000 persons or 1.3 percent to an annual average 44.8 million.

"Higher labor force participation of the domestic population and the immigration of foreign workers offset negative demographic effects, so that the number of persons in employment in 2018 was the highest since German reunification in 1991," the statistical office said.

In 2017, employment grew 1.4 percent. Employment has increased for 13 years in a row thus far.

The service sector contributed most to the latest growth in employment with a 1.2 percent or 384,000 increase in the number of employees.

Unemployment continued to decline in 2018, down by 130,000 persons or 8 percent to 1.49 million on an annual average. The ILO jobless rate eased to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent.

The labor force grew by 422,000 persons to 46.2 million in 2018.

The latest GfK consumer confidence survey attributed the increase in income optimism to the "consistently excellent" health of the job market.

High expectations for financial development are thoroughly well-grounded as the prospects for the job market in next year remain favorable, the GfK said.

Meanwhile, the German economy shrunk for the first time since early 2015 in the third quarter and at the fastest pace in nearly six years, mainly due to weak exports and car sales. GDP fell 0.2 percent quarterly, marking the worst decline since the first quarter of 2013.

Another contraction in the fourth quarter would mean the economy has slipped into a technical recession, which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The industrial sector is yet to show any hard evidence of a rebound from the slowdown over the past few months, which was mainly led by automobile industry, where the implementation of the new WLTP emission tests hurt demand.

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