German unemployment holds steady at 5 per cent

BERLIN — Germany’s unemployment is holding steady at 5 per cent in a sign of strength for Europe’s largest economy.The Federal Labor Agency said Thursday that the number of unemployed dropped by 2,000 in January over December, leaving the rate unchanged at 5 per cent for the third month in a row, according to figures adjusted for seasonal factors.In unadjusted terms, the rate ticked up from 4.9 per cent in December to 5.3 per cent in January. Some 190,000 more people were registered as unemployed for a total of 2.4 million jobless.ING economist Carsten Brzeski says the figures indicate that the labour market remains robust despite worries of a slowing economy amid trade conflicts, Brexit, a Chinese slowdown, and auto industry problems.He says: “there is hardly any better insurance against recession fears.”The Associated Press