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Ear to the Ground

Germany’s Jobless Rate Drops to 20-Year Low

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Posted on Jan 3, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

If only we could import a little bit of Germany right now—in a good way. Unlike many of its European neighbors, Germany is enjoying a bit of an economic boost in that its unemployment rate dropped to a record low for the month of December. That said, it’s not as though the country is immune to the impact of the ongoing global financial crisis, and the 2012 forecast for Germany isn’t all free and clear, but it still sounds pretty good from where we sit.  —KA

BBC:

German unemployment fell to its lowest rate in December since 1991, according to the German Federal Labour Agency.

The adjusted jobless rate fell to 6.8% from 6.9% in November, the Federal Labour Office said.

This marked a new record low since figures for unified Germany were first published.

The seasonally-adjusted total for the number of people out of work in Germany fell 22,000 to 2.88 million in December.

[...] Leading economists expect Germany’s economic growth to slow in 2012, however, in line with other major eurozone economies, which may put a squeeze on wages and jobs.

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By heterochromatic, January 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

jeff~~~~~ “You want to get ahead through hard work, clever innovation and
shrewd risk-taking - get out of America and go to Germany….”

maybe not, jeff. maybe being an immigrant in Germany ain’t a swell thing to be.

...........”.... surveys consistently show most Germans don’t want foreigners in
their country. And there have been — on average — 17 race-related killings
annually in recent years.

Turks — the biggest minority group at nearly 3 million — are in their fourth
generation.

But it was less than a decade ago that Germany abolished the law granting
citizenship only to those with German blood.

And even the official, newly coined term “people of migrant origin” reflects a
reluctance to accept that one-fifth of the population is not of German stock.

There are hardly any minorities in the mainstream media, police, judiciary or
politics.”....


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99189265

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By jeffpc, January 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

The irony is that the Germans got their modern constitution from the US post-WWII.  It’s the FDR “New Deal” that Germans are living now whilst the US of A has regressed back to “survival of the richest” Reaganomics.  Most Americans can’t even remember what life used to be like when the “American Dream” was alive.  You want to get ahead through hard work, clever innovation and shrewd risk-taking - get out of America and go to Germany (or Scandinavia)!

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By Leefeller, January 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Fibonacci65, thanks for the heads up on Germany and how they do it the non screw the people Republican Mitt Romney way! Man,.... ‘we the people’ (the real people) are screwed by the Repulcians and their dead brain and earth plans!

We need to get the money out, about as fat a chance as allowing unions to sit on the cooperate boards!

The way it works here in good old America, is division and divisiveness keeps the status quotient!

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By mrfreeze, January 4, 2012 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

I have good friends in Germany. When they talk about their way of life, I’ve always had a sense that they “believe” in the power of their democracy. They talk about their politicians as “partners” who are supposed to represent the interests of the people. Certainly, Germany has problems, but there’s something about their perspective that’s incredibly refreshing…

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By Francis Hunt, January 4, 2012 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reasons for the current German economic strength (and
its tenaciousness, despite the Euro crisis) are many and
complex. One aspect, which is often overlooked, is that
Germany went through a seven to eight year period of painful
economic retrenchment and reform after the turn of the
millenium. This reform was forced on the country by the
fact that the bill for German unification - which had
been put off during the 90s - finally became due. Around
2000, Germany was the “sick man of Europe” and the first
Euro-zone country to break the Maastricht criterea,
whereby 3% was supposed to be the maximum size of the
budget deficit. The “Agenda 2010,” introduced by the then
SPD-Green coalition sanitized Germany and made the
country’s strongly export-oriented industry
internationally competetive once more. The cost for
workers (a real decrease in wages in the first decade of
the century) and those dependent on social welfare
transfers was quite high - and, ultimately, Agenda 2010
cost Gerhardt Schröder his job as Chancellor. Seen from
this point of view, Germany went through the painful
economic adjustment other countries are now going through
before the financial crisis and euro-crisis began.

I am an Irishman who has lived in Germany for the past 25
years. I remember being astounded on visits to Ireland
pre-2008 at the amounts people in Ireland were earning,
borrowing and spending during the boom. At that time,
people in Ireland would not have got out of bed in the
morning for what I was earning in Germany. Today, of
course, things look very different.

For American observers I would also point out that
(despite the cuts and austerity measures of the Agenda
2010) Germany still has a good system of universal health-
care, a social welfare system which guarantees those
without work an existence and a home to live in, a
functioning state-backed wage-indexed general pension
scheme and affordable, highly-subsidised professional
training and/or university education for young people.
And it is certainly anything but a “communist” (or even
socialist) country.

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By Fibonacci65, January 4, 2012 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Germany is highly unionized—yeah, America could really do that, LOL!  The union representatives in Germany—get this—sit on the boards of all corporations (oh my gawd, socialism, or whatever!).  The Germans willingly agreed to cut their work hours so that more people could be employed.  What the hell, a society that works together—they even have the usual European left wing welfare state there, too, they will never last.  And, oh yeah, as Merkel said to Tony Blair, “But we still make things.”  So they depend on each other, trust their unions and workers and do not simply play monopoly all day long, can’t see that in America ever again, sorry boys and girls.

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By Leefeller, January 4, 2012 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

Germany must be full of pay no taxes job creators, do they have screw the populous Republicans in Germany?

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By heterochromatic, January 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

The Soviet Union imported entire German factories. Didn’t much help.

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By gerard, January 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

I presume that in Germany, corporate magnates do not treat their fellow-citizens like dirt. I would also presume that Germans as a whole do not harbor the fanatical resentment of reasonable controls on exploitation that are common in this country, even to the point where the lack of regulations is poisoning the entire economy. It would seem that people representing a variety of social classes can pull together more cooperatively in the overall common interest.  Am I wrong?

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