The number of Germans without jobs increased in January but analysts say the labour market still looks strong when the effects of the winter weather are taken into account.

The Federal Labour Office said today that the number of jobless rose 298,000 in January over the previous month to 3,138,000.

The unemployment rate rose 0.7 percentage points to 7.4%.

But when adjusted for seasonal factors, the number of unemployed actually dropped 16,000 for an adjusted rate of 6.8%.

The jobless rate usually increases during the winter months when certain sectors, like construction, have less work.

Analysts said that today's numbers confirm that the German job miracle has lost some of its magic. But they added that even without being miraculous, the labour market should remain growth-supportive.