FRANKFURT (AP) -- The number of people employed in Germany's crucial manufacturing sector fell 4.4 percent in the year to September, the Federal Statistical Office said Monday.
The office said 5 million Germans worked at manufacturing companies with 50 or more persons, a decline of some 233,000 persons compared with September 2008.
Europe's largest economy relies heavily on exports of manufactured products from companies such as Siemens AG, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and carmakers Volkswagen AG and BMW AG.
The number of hours worked fell 8.9 percent to 642 million, although the number of calendar days increased by one day to 22 work days in the month. The statistical office, based in Wiesbaden, said the fall in hours is a result of short work programs instituted by many German companies to save more jobs.
Metal industry jobs declined 6.5 percent, rubber and synthetic material industry jobs fell 5.4 percent, car and car parts industry jobs dropped 4.8 percent, machinery industry jobs declined 4.5 percent and electrical equipment production jobs were down 4.3 percent in September.
Only the food production industry showed a 1.5 percent increase from September 2008, the office said.