German unemployment rate up in January to 7.3 per cent due to seasonal factors

BERLIN – Germany’s unemployment rate rose to 7.3 per cent in January, mainly due to seasonal factors, with about a quarter million more people out of work compared with December.

The Federal Labor Office reported Thursday the unemployment rate rose from 6.7 per cent in December. Overall, 3.14 million people were jobless.

The jobless rate regularly rises during the winter months when certain jobs, like construction, are less available. When adjusted for seasonal factors, the rate remained 6.8 per cent.

In seasonally adjusted terms, 28,000 fewer people were out of work in January than in December.

Germany’s economy saw only modest growth in 2013 but is forecast to pick up speed in 2014.

IHS economist Timo Klein says that, “Overall, German economic growth is gaining momentum.”