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German unemployment down slightly

July 7, 2004 at 5:01 PM

NUREMBERG, Germany, July 7 (UPI) -- German unemployment dipped slightly last month largely due to seasonal factors, but remained above 10 percent.

Germany's Federal Labor Agency said 4.23 million Germans were out of work in June, 60,000 fewer than in May, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Unemployment continued to be much higher in the former East Germany than in the former West. June numbers indicated while West German unemployment was 8.1 percent, East German unemployment was 18.1 percent.

Still, some experts are predicting imminent improvement in Germany's employment situation. A survey of temporary employers -- often considered an early indicator of employment trends -- by German newspaper Berliner Zeitung found a strong increase in temporary employment.

Labor agency head Frank-Juergen Weise said the numbers show Germany's economic recovery is not yet strong enough to lead employers to hire new workers.

German unemployment has been above 10 percent for months, dogging the unpopular Social Democratic/Green Party ruling coalition.

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