German jobless rate edges up in January on seasonal factors

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German jobless rate edges up in January on seasonal factors
A man smokes a cigarette in the hallway high up in a hotel in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s unemployment rate climbed to 5.8 percent in January due to seasonal factors, but the underlying trend of the labor market in Europe’s biggest economy remained positive.

The Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday the unadjusted jobless rate climbed from 5.3 percent in December, with the number of unemployed rising by 185,000 to 2.57 million. However, that figure was 207,000 lower than a year earlier.

It’s typical for the unadjusted rate, the headline figure in Germany, to rise in January but labor agency chief Detlef Scheele said the increase was smaller than usual.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the jobless rate ticked down to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent, with 25,000 fewer people out of work than the previous month — slightly better than economists’ forecasts of a 17,000 drop.