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Germany's Jobless Total Falls Below 4 Million

Germany's unemployment rate dropped to 9.6 percent in November as the number of people out of work fell below 4 million for the first time in more than four years, government figures showed Thursday.

The unadjusted jobless rate declined from 9.8 percent in September, while the total number of Germans registered unemployed sank by 89,000 to 3.995 million. The figure was last below the politically sensitive 4 million mark in October 2002, when it stood at nearly 3.93 million.

The decline provided the latest evidence of recovery in Europe's biggest economy after years of stagnation.

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