BERLIN (Reuters) -German unemployment fell in March, data showed on Wednesday, as lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus in Europe’s biggest economy had a limited effect on the labour market.
The Federal Labour Office said the number of people out of work fell by 8,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.745 million. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month at 6.0%.
Germany is struggling to control a third wave of the pandemic and has been in lockdown since November although some measures were eased in early March with schools and hairdressers re-opening.
“We saw a noticeable spring recovery in March despite the rising (coronavirus) infections and the constraints for some areas of the economy,” said Labour Office Chief Detlef Scheele.
“Overall, however, the labour market continues to show signs of the crisis that has lasted a year,” he added
Some 2.85 million employees were on shortened working hours in January under a government scheme designed to avoid mass layoffs during the downturn by offering companies subsidies to keep workers on the payroll.
The number of people on the scheme peaked at about 6 million last April but has been rising steadily since November, said the Office.
(Reporting by Madeline ChambersEditing by Paul Carrel)