German jobless rate up modestly, government mulls stimulus

BERLIN (AP) — Official data show that Germany’s unemployment rate rose modestly to 6.1% last month, kept down by extensive use of a short-time work program that kept millions of people on payrolls. The government was mulling on Wednesday a stimulus package to reinvigorate Europe’s biggest economy. The Federal Labor Agency said the number of people registered as jobless rose to 2.81 million in May — 169,000 more than in April and 577,000 more than a year earlier. The unadjusted jobless rate — the headline figure in Germany — was up from 5.8% to 6.1%, following a sharper increase in April.