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France growth to pick up after sluggish start to 2014

France's economy barely expanded at the start of this year, but growth should pick up if fall short of government forecasts, the national statistics agency said Thursday. INSEE's forecasting arm said in its quarterly outlook report that it believes the French economy expanded by 0.1 percent in the first quarter. The Bank of France last month forecast 0.2 percent growth for the January to March period. Both their forecasts are a slowdown to the 0.3 percent growth rate that France turned in for the final quarter of last year.

Jobless claims rise, trade deficit widens on weak exports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to some strength in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists had forecast first-time filings for jobless aid rising to 317,000 in the week ended March 29.

Report says blacks, Latinos losing ground in employment and income compared with whites

WASHINGTON - African-Americans and Latinos are losing economic ground when compared with whites in the areas of employment and income as the United States pulls itself out of the Great Recession, the latest State of Black America report from the National Urban League says.

Spanish jobless numbers on positive track in March

Madrid, Apr 2 (EFE).- The number of registered unemployed people in Spain dropped by 16,620 in March, compared to February, to 4.79 million, marking the biggest drop in the third month of a year since 2006, the Employment and Social Security Ministry said Wednesday. The number of jobless people fell by 17,000 in March on a seasonally unadjusted basis, compared to the previous month, the ministry said. The number of registered unemployed people fell by 239,377 last month, compared to March 2013.

German unemployment falls for fourth straight month in March

By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) - German unemployment fell for a fourth consecutive month in March, data showed on Tuesday, highlighting the strength of the job market in Europe's largest economy and boding well for expectations that domestic demand will drive growth this year. The number of people out of work decreased by 12,000 to 2.901 million, data from the Labor Office showed. The mid-range forecast in a Reuters poll had been for a drop of 10,000.

Euro zone unemployment rate stable in February

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Unemployment in the euro zone declined slightly in February, although the rate remained at 11.9 percent after downward revisions of the past few months, the European statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday. Eurostat said in a statement that 18.97 million people in the 18-country euro zone were unemployed in February, a decrease of about 35,000 from last month.

German unemployment falls for fourth straight month in March

By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) - German unemployment fell for a fourth consecutive month in March, data showed on Tuesday, highlighting the strength of the job market in Europe's largest economy and boding well for expectations that domestic demand will drive growth this year. The number of people out of work decreased by 12,000 to 2.901 million, data from the Labour Office showed. The mid-range forecast in a Reuters poll had been for a drop of 10,000.

German unemployment drops to 7.1 per cent in March as economic growth bolsters spring increase

BERLIN - Germany's unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 per cent in March, as the usual springtime increase in jobs was aided by stronger economic growth. The Federal Labor Agency reported Tuesday that 3.06 million people were registered as unemployed in March, down 83,000 from the previous month, when the jobless rate stood at 7.3 per cent . When adjusted for seasonal factors, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 per cent to 6.7 per cent.

Italian unemployment rate hits record 13%: official data

The unemployment rate in Italy rose to a record 13.0 percent in February, an initial official estimate showed on Tuesday. The rate edged up from 12.9 percent in January, and over 12 months rose by 1.1 percentage points, the statistics institute Istat said. ahe/hd/yad

German unemployment continues to ease in March

Unemployment in Germany, Europe's largest economy, continued to ease in March, as the labour market benefits from the improving economic outlook, official data showed on Tuesday. The number of people registered as unemployed in Europe's top economy fell by 12,000 to 2.901 million, after adjustment for seasonal blips, the Federal Labour Office said in a statement. Analysts had been projecting a smaller decline of about 7,500.
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