German unemployment rate climbs above 5% in January

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s jobless rate climbed above 5% in January, pushed higher largely by seasonal factors while also reflecting slower growth in Europe’s biggest economy, official data showed Thursday.

The unadjusted unemployment rate, the headline figure in Germany, rose to 5.3% in January from 4.9% in December, the Federal Labor Agency said.

In all, 2.426 million people were registered as unemployed in the country of 83 million. The figure was 198,000 higher than the previous month and 20,000 higher than a year earlier.

Germany’s relatively weak recent economic performance is continuing to have an impact on the labor market, “but overall it is robust at the beginning of the year,” labor agency chief Detlef Scheele said.

In seasonally adjusted terms, Germany’s unemployment rate was static in January at 5%, where it has stood for months.

Germany’s economy has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year’s 0.6% growth was the weakest since 2013. Fourth-quarter figures haven’t yet been released, but officials believe the economy grew slightly compared with the previous quarter.

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