The number of people out of work in Germany moved back above the key level of 5 million in January, as the bad winter weather led to lay-offs in outdoor sectors such as the construction sector.
Jobseekers bore the brunt of a bad winter season in Germany
The German jobless total rose by 408,000 to 5.012 million in January in raw or unadjusted terms, pushing the jobless rate up to 12.1 percent from 11.1 percent, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg calculated.
Unemployment usually increases in the winter months as a result of the bad weather and the traditional deadline for the expiry of employment contracts in December.
It was the first time since March 2005 that the German jobless total has been above the politically sensitive level of 5 million.
The figures were "a lot less favourable than is traditionally the case at this time of year," said labor office chief Frank Weise. "But this does not change the fundamental downward trend in unemployment," he added.