Eckart Tuchtfeld, Commerzbank's analyst said German unemployment is rising on account of the recession, but the increase so far has been relatively moderate, thanks to widespread adoption of short-time work. Short-time work is engaging hundreds of thousands in employment.

Economists expect the pace of job losses to quicken considerably and from mid-year at the latest, the economic slump will put much more people out of work. Companies will lay off more staff in the last six months of this year as production and order intake point to a very weak first quarter. By that time, short time work would not be an adequate solution. The Commerzbank sees around 4.2 million unemployed persons by the end of the year.

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