European jobless rate up modestly, Germany mulls stimulus

BERLIN (AP) — Europe’s unemployment rate ticked up only modestly last month. It appears to be contained by use of programs that have kept millions of workers on payrolls. It also appears flattered by the fact that some people stopped looking for work. The new figures released Wednesday show that the  jobless rate in the 19 countries that use the euro rose to 7.3% in April, the first full month when pandemic lockdowns hit the continent, from 7.1% in March. Europe’s rise in unemployment has been moderate by international standards because employers are making extensive use of government-backed short-time work programs that allows them to keep employees on the payroll while they await better times.