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German unemployment falls more than expected in December

An employee works on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Martin Leissl | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee works on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, in Stuttgart, Germany.

German unemployment fell more than expected in December, keeping the jobless rate in Europe's biggest economy at a record low, data from the Federal Labour Office showed on Tuesday.

"The positive development related to unemployment continued at the end of the year," Frank-Juergen Weise, head of the Federal Labour Office, said.

"The strong increase in employment that has been going on for a long time slowed since the summer months, but demand for new workers remains at a high level," he added.

The seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 17,000 to 2.638 million, the Labour Office said. That was more than three fold the 5,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.

The adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.0 percent, the lowest level since German reunification in 1990.

In 2016 as a whole, a record 43.4 million people were employed in Germany as the labour market thrives in an environment of a continued economic upswing, low interest rates and increased state spending.

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