German unemployment hit a new postwar high of 5.2 million in February, or 12.6 percent of the workforce, as a result of the cold winter weather and statistical changes under labor market reforms, data showed on Tuesday. The number of people registered as unemployed rose by 177,000 to 5.216 million in February, the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg calculated. Already in January, the dole queues in Germany had lengthened substantially to their highest levels since World War II. Much of the renewed increase in the February jobless total was the result of seasonal factors, such as the cold winter weather which forces companies in sectors such as the construction industry to lay off workers, labor office chief Frank Weise explained. But even after adjustment for such seasonal effects, the jobless total surged by 161,000 to 4.875 million, separate statistics published by the Bundesbank showed.