There was an unexpected rise in the number of people out of work in Germany in September.
The total – when adjusted for seasonal factors like weather – was at the highest level since May 2011.
Data showed the number of people out of work rose by 25,000 to 2.975 million.
It is not yet clear if this is a developing trend, but a Federal Labour Office official said that was partly due to a switch from short-term policies to get people into jobs to longer-term ones intended to train the unemployed.
Management board member Heinrich Alt told reporters: “We don’t give up the fight against unemployment. That would be the wrong strategy. We see that the number of people out of work fluctuates. We also realised that the competition in the labour market has increased over the past year. We have 270,000 immigrants from other EU-countries, who entered the German labour market.
The latest jobless figures for the whole of the eurozone were also just released.
They are for August and show the unemployment rate was unchanged, at 12 percent of the workforce
The numbers had improved slightly in July for the first time in two years.
That was an indication the nascent economic recovery was having an effect on the labour market in the 17 countries that use the euro.
One positive sign in August was that youth unemployment in the region fell for the first time since April, but it is still at 23.7 percent.