The German labor market has begun the new year on a solid footing with unemployment climbing less than normal for the winter season. In adjusted terms, the number of jobless has never been so low in a quarter century.
Nominal unemployment in Europe's biggest economy in January rose by 239,000 people compared with December 2015, and by 111,000 from January 2015, according to new figures released by the German Labor Agency (BA) on Tuesday.
BA data showed that the jobless total came in at 2.92 million people in the month, with the unemployment rate, measuring the jobless total against the working population, edging up to 6.7 percent from 6.1 percent in December.
The head of the German Labor Agency Frank-Jürgen Weise attributed the rise solely to seasonal factors, saying that the "positive development" on the German labor market "continued at the beginning of 2016."
Bearing out Weise's comment was the fact that seasonally-adjusted unemployment in Germany has never been so low in a January since 1990, when the formerly divided country re-united after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Figures adjusted for seasonal and other variations, showed that the German unemployment rate actually declined from 6.3 percent in December to 6.2 percent in January. In numerical terms, the number of people registered as unemployed declined by a seasonally-adjusted 20,000 to 2.732 million, the data said.
That was more than expected, as analysts had been penciling in a decline of around 6,500.
In related news, the German statistics office, Destatis, said on Tuesday that the jobs market was also growing in January, as companies added 439,000 jobs, sending the monthly total to a record 43.3 million.
uhe/kd (dpa, AFP, Reuters)