Unemployment in Germany rose last month for the first time in three years as the economic downturn finally reached the country’s previously healthy labour market, raising pressure on the government to support growth.

Figures released by the Federal Labour Agency showed the number of jobseekers had risen by a seasonally adjusted 18,000 in December, almost twice as much as economists had expected, bringing the jobless rate from 7.5 per cent to 7.6 per cent month-on-month.

The rise in unemployment brings an end to the longest labour market boom in Germany since the 1970s.

Financial Times