The official German unemployment rate includes people working part-time who would like full-time jobs. For this reason it is not directly comparable to the unemployment rate in the United States. Fortunately the OECD produces a harmonized unemployment rate for its members which is directly comparable.
For this reason it was needlessly misleading for the NYT to tell readers that the unemployment rate across Germany is 6.5 percent. This refers to the official Germany government measure. The OECD harmonized unemployment rate for Germany is 5.2 percent.