German Unemployment Rate Slips 0.3%

Germany's unemployment rate fell to 9.8% in March from 10.1% the month before, the country's Federal Labor Office said Thursday, a steady decline that reflected the overall upswing in the labor market.

The number of Germans without work in the country in March was 4.1 million, down from 4.22 million the month before and a significant drop from the same month in the previous year.

Europe's biggest economy saw 869,000 fewer in the ranks of the unemployed between March 2006 and March 2007, the office said.

"Unemployment has dropped, and more jobs are being created while demand for workers remains high," said Frank-Juergen Weise, who heads the unemployment office.

Germany's unemployment rate has been steadily improving as the country maintains its economic upswing, including stronger consumer demand and investment within the country by German and foreign companies.