German unemployment rose in July as the traditional summer slump in the job market carried the jobless rate up to 11.5%, according to unadjusted figures released today. The rate in June had been 11.3%.

Around 68,000 people were added to the jobless figures in July, bringing the total up to 4.77 million, the Federal Labour Agency calculated. It said the rise was due to the influx of university graduates onto the job market and the traditionally slower pace of the economy in the summer months.

Unemployment is the main issue in the German general election to take place on September 18. Joblessness in Germany breached the five-million mark in the first quarter of this year for the first time since World War 2.