Listening for the gist of a story is good practice. Try listening to this newscast and ask yourself, what is the main issue this newscast is about? What problems does this issue cause?
Now listen again but listen for the following and think about what they mean:
- …for the fourth month running.
- The country is suffering from…
- …adjusted for seasonal factors.
- …economy undergoing an export- and investment-driven boom.
Shortage- There is not enough. The opposite is surplus.
Boom- An increase in the economic activity. It is opposite to a recession.
Consolidate- To make something solid.
Worrisome- It is something we should worry about.
1. For the fourth month running. This means that a situation has been happening for four months in a row. This news was reported in May which means that the unemployment rate fell in February, March, April and May.
2. The country is suffering from a lack of skilled workers. If a country is suffering from something, it means that there is a negative situation. The situation is hurting the country. In this case, the negative situation is the lack of skilled workers. So you can imagine companies in Germany are having trouble because they cannot find people qualified to do the skilled jobs.
3. …adjusted for seasonal factors. If you adjust figures for seasonal factors, you take out the increase or decrease that usually happens at that time of year. We do this so that we can see the change in the number that is from economic reasons without being distracted by the seasonal changes.
4. …economy undergoing an export- and investment-driven boom. The economy is undergoing something means that something is happening to the economy. In this case, what is happening to the economy? A boom. An increase in the activity in the market. What is the reason for this? It is driven by exports and investments.
Listening to the newscast one last time is always a good idea at this point. If you have any questions, you can see the script below, but as usual, I recommend you only look at this if you need to.
Germany’s unemployment rate fell in May for the fourth month running.
The labour minister welcomed that, but complained the country is suffering from a lack of skilled workers.
The jobless figures dropped to seven percent of the workforce from 7.3 percent in April – that is adjusted for seasonal factors like weather and changes in the calendar.
The unemployment rate is now at the lowest level since 1990 when east and west Germany were reunified.
With Europe’s biggest economy undergoing an export- and investment-driven boom, German labour minister Ursula von der Leyen said there is a shortage of workers in some areas:
“In general, the German labour market is in excellent shape. Now we need to consolidate this high level and built on it for the future.
But she added: “We have one million high skilled jobs that businesses and companies have more and more trouble filling. That is worrisome.”
European Union figures released at the same time showed that across the 17 countries of the euro zone, unemployment was unchanged in April at 9.9 percent for the third month running.