Germany’s unemployment rate reaches record low

The photo links to a site from the German Ministry of Education and Research

German unemployment fell more than forecast in December as exports of cars and machinery boomed and one of the mildest winters on record helped support jobs in construction…

German companies, working off orders for exports and investment goods, have so far defied a debt crisis the European Commission says risks triggering a recession in the euro area. The Munich-based Ifo institute’s measure of business confidence rose unexpectedly in December, and polls show most Germans see their job as secure even as Europe’s biggest economy slows…

Carmaker Audi AG said on Dec. 27 that it may add 1,200 jobs this year as it expands investment in electric vehicles and light-metal technology. Airbus SAS, maker of the A380 superjumbo whose German production sites include Hamburg, said Dec. 14 that it’s seeking 4,000 more workers. Of Hamburg’s largest 200 employers, 42 percent said they plan to boost hiring in 2012, the Abendblatt newspaper reported Dec. 30, citing its own poll…

Across Germany, 90 percent of voters said they view their jobs as secure, a poll of 2,000 respondents by Ernst & Young International for Die Welt newspaper published today showed. Forty percent said they expect the economy to weaken in 2012.

Compare that to any poll of economic confidence in the United States since Bill Clinton left office. Even in the period before the Great Recession – brought to us by Bush/Cheney in the White house – American workers confronted economic policies that focused solely on maximizing profits through outsourcing.

Reunification – 1990

German exports of cars, machines and services breached the 1 trillion euro mark for the first time in 2011, according the BGA export group…

For now, lower unemployment is boosting consumer spending, helping drive domestic demand, Mario Gruppe, an economist at NordLB in Hanover, said by phone. “Germany won’t be able to avoid an economic cooling down, so there will also be effect on the labor market,” he said. “But we saw in the last crisis that the German labor market held up astounding well in global competitiveness, so the effects could be negligible.”

The watershed moment in German politics and economics was reunification. Still, before that period of transition both East and West German governments mandated universal 2-tier education. At some point in time you decided or were firmly nudged in the direction of education in trades and technology or university and professions. High school graduation rates run around 92%. What are they in your state?

After reunification the new whole Germany needed to update a mass of unemployed, lower-wage earners from the East. Basic education wasn’t so much the task as retraining for technical trades, creating new jobs, new industries. Which is what the German government under either Conservative leadership or Socialist leadership worked at as a mutually-beneficial task. The two major parties agreed that working for common goals was more important than the class warfare preferred by American Republicans, for example.

Optimizing profits followed behind the premise of growing employment for German workers, building the economy and increasing the sum of profits to investors was grounded in producing exportable commodities and capital goods.

All tasks the United States has long been capable of – and denied by the political infrastructure of Congress since 1994 and the self-described Republican Revolution.

Footnote: After I posted this I watched Tom Keene’s “SURVEILLANCE MIDDAY” on Bloomberg TV. His co-host was Leo Hindery and other interesting guests expert in economics and politics. They discussed parallel topics in the United States, referencing Germany’s result as part of the discussion.

Here’s a link to the Bloomberg TV video.

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