Number of people out of work rose by 56,000 in January

German unemployment has risen for the fourth consecutive month, the country’s labour office announced on Thursday.

Scaffolding on Berlin construction site
Credit: Oldgreentree
Berlin construction site

In further proof that the global recession is tightening its grip on European economies, the Nuremberg-based labour office said dole queues swelled to 3.311m in February.

The number of people out of work rose by 56,000 in January, pushing the unemployment rate up to 7.9% from 7.8%.

Increasing numbers of companies have placed their employees on reduced working hours, which the labour office said had helped to limit the jump in unemployment.

Around 201,000 employees were on reduced working hours in January.

The current unemployment rate stands at 14.4% in the eastern part of the nation and 7% in the west.

The rising jobless total comes as the German political parties gear up for the country’s national election, set for September.