• Joblessness falls by 5,000 in October vs estimated 4,000 drop
  • Unemployment rate holds at lowest level since reunification

German unemployment fell in October in a sign that companies in Europe’s largest economy are weathering a slowdown in emerging markets.

Joblessness declined a seasonally adjusted 5,000 to 2.788 million, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg said on Thursday. Economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted a drop of 4,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.4 percent, the lowest level since German reunification.

A resilient labor market fueling consumption together with rising disposable incomes and low inflation bodes well for German economic growth at a time when a slowdown in China and turbulence in emerging markets weigh on exports, the country’s traditional driver of expansion. The Bundesbank said this month that economic momentum remains “quite strong” even though manufacturing is stagnating.

“The weaker impetus from emerging markets slows down the dynamic in industry but better European-Union demand compensates for the negative effect,” said Alexander Koch, an economist at Raiffeisen Schweiz in Zurich. “Employment keeps growing at a robust pace across the board. It’s at a record high and so is the number of vacancies. This bodes well for further job creation in the coming months.”

The number of people without work fell by about 2,000 in western Germany and dropped by about 3,000 in the eastern part of the country, the report said.

“The favorable development in the labor market continues,” said Frank-Juergen Weise, the president of Germany’s labor agency. “Robust growth in employment is uninterrupted. Labor demand has also increased again.”

A measure of unemployment comparable with other euro-area countries was at 4.5 percent in August, less than half that of the region as a whole. The jobless rate in the 19-nation currency bloc remained unchanged at 11 percent in September, according to a separate Bloomberg survey. That report is due on Friday at 11 a.m. from the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg.

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