German jobless rate ticks up in January but labor market remains strong

The number of Germans without jobs increased in January but analysts say the labor market still looks strong when the effects of the winter weather are taken into account.

The Federal Labor Office said Thursday the number of jobless rose 298,000 in January over the previous month to 3,138,000. The unemployment rate rose 0.7 percentage points to 7.4 percent.

But when adjusted for seasonal factors, the number of unemployed actually dropped 16,000 for an adjusted rate of 6.8 percent.

The jobless rate usually increases during the winter months when certain sectors, like construction, have less work.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski says "today's numbers confirm that the German job miracle has lost some of its magic — however, even without being miraculous, the labor market should remain growth-supportive."