The number of people out of work in Germany has increased towards the end of last year. But the rise in unemployment was not as high as labor market experts predicted, partly because a mild winter had a positive effect.
Mild winter temperatures led to only a slight increase in unemployment in Germany in December, the Nuremberg-based Federal Employment Agency (BA) reported on Tuesday.
It said 2.873 million people were out of work in the last month of 2013, marking a rise of 67,000 when compared with the previous month and an increase by 33,000 compared to same month a year earlier.
BA chief Frank-Jürgen Weise said the figures were no cause for alarm. "While the number of unemployed people rose slightly in December, an increase is nothing out of the ordinary for that month," he maintained. "Adjusted for seasonal factors, unemployment even dropped in December," Weise added.
A matter of perspective
A look at full-year 2013 figures revealed that unemployment rose for the first time since 2009, with 53,000 people more seeking a job and the number of jobless people totaling 2.95 million.
At the same time, though, the overall number of people in employment reached 41.84 million, thus marking a new peak since reunification in 1990.
hg/msh (dpa, Reuters)