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German unemployment holds steady at 5 percent

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's unemployment is holding steady at 5 percent in a sign of strength for Europe's largest economy. The Federal Labor Agency said Thursday that the number of unemployed dropped by 2,000 in January over December, leaving the rate unchanged at 5 percent for the third month in a row, according to figures adjusted for seasonal factors.

In unadjusted terms, the rate ticked up from 4.9 percent in December to 5.3 percent in January. Some 190,000 more people were registered as unemployed for a total of 2.4 million jobless. ING economist Carsten Brzeski says the figures indicate that the labor market remains robust despite worries of a slowing economy amid trade conflicts, Brexit, a Chinese slowdown, and auto industry problems.

He says: "there is hardly any better insurance against recession fears."

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