November 2, 2017 / 9:08 AM / a year ago

German jobless total falls more than expected in October

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s unemployment total fell slightly more than expected in October, data showed on Thursday, reflecting the strength of a labor market that continues to generate new jobs and support a consumption-led upswing in Europe’s largest economy.

A man read job offers during the first day of the "Hannover Messe" industrial trade fair in Hanover April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Data published by the Federal Labour Office showed the seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 11,000 to 2.495 million, a bigger drop than the 10,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.

The unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent, the lowest level since reunification in 1990.

“The positive development on the labor market persists,” Labour Office chief Detlef Scheele said in a statement. “The strong upturn in the autumn has led to both unemployment and underemployment falling more strongly than usual.”

The healthy labor market should continue supporting a consumption-based growth cycle in Germany, contributing to rising tax revenues that will give the next government fiscal leeway to boost investment.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are trying to form a coalition government with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens after an election in September.

The Greens want to boost investment in environmentally friendly technologies as well as infrastructure, digitalization and education. The FDP and conservatives prioritize tax cuts.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Paul Carrel

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