Headline unemployment in Germany rose in February, as is usual in the winter, but was unchanged in adjusted terms, official figures showed this morning.

The German jobless rate, which measures the proportion of people registered as unemployed against the working population as a whole, edged up to 7.4% in February from 7.3% in January.

The data was provided on a raw or unadjusted basis by the Federal Labour Agency. In raw terms, the total number of people out of work was up by 25,717 in February from January to stand at just over 3.1 million, the agency said in a statement.

Unemployment tends to rise in the winter months as sectors such as the construction sector lay off workers owing to the cold weather.

But seasonally adjusted numbers, which iron out such distortions, remained unchanged in February from January and the seasonally adjusted jobless rate was steady at 6.8%.