RTTNews - German unemployment recorded a mild increase in May compared to previous months, official data showed Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed rose 1,000 to 3.46 million in May after changing the way it was calculated before, the Federal Labor Agency said. Economists had forecast an increase of 64,000 for May after the revised rise of 57,000 in April. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 8.2% from 8.3%.

The agency said the number would have risen between 15,000 and 20,000 in May without the implementation of the statistical changes. The new rule instructs the Labor agency to exclude people attending training in a company as unemployed.

The surprisingly sound situation this month is due largely to widespread recourse to short-time work, Commerzbank analyst Eckart Tuchtfeld said. The analyst added that short-time work is proving a substantial bulwark to the labor market, but is not accounting for millions of saved jobs.

German unemployment was on the rise since November 2008 and in March 2009, it grew the most, by 69,000. The government expects the number of unemployed to increase to 3.7 million this year and to 4.6 million in 2010.

The government had implemented several measures to contain the rising number of unemployed in the wake of the worst recession since the World War II. Short-term work was widely accepted in Germany to address the situation. However, economists see chances for a sudden sharp rise in joblessness once firms pull out of the scheme.

Also on Thursday, the country's statistical office said the seasonally adjusted ILO jobless rate rose to 7.7% in April from 7.4% recorded in the same month of the previous year. The number of unemployed amounted to a seasonally adjusted 3.34 million in April. Compared with the previous year, unemployment was up by a seasonally adjusted 150,000 persons or 4.8%.

At the same time, the number of persons in employment living in Germany amounted to 39.96 million, down 130,000 persons from the previous year.

In the first quarter, the biggest Eurozone economy contracted 3.8%, the fourth straight quarter of decline and the biggest fall since records began in 1970.

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