German unemployment drops as economy picks up

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in March, as the usual springtime increase in jobs was aided by stronger economic growth.

The Federal Labor Agency reported Tuesday that 3.06 million people were registered as unemployed in March, down 83,000 from the previous month, when the jobless rate stood at 7.3 percent . When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 percent to 6.7 percent.

The government's panel of independent economic advisers last month raised its 2014 growth forecast for Germany to 1.9 percent from 1.6 percent, following feeble growth of 0.4 percent last year. Labor Agency head Frank-Juergen Weise says the uptick in growth has already been helping the labor market.

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