Jan 29, 4:37 AM EST

German unemployment rises to 7 percent in January due to seasonal slowdown in labor market

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BERLIN (AP) -- German unemployment rose to 7 percent in January, but the increase was due largely to seasonal factors and the Federal Labor Agency says the job market remains strong.

The rate rose 0.6 percentage points from 6.4 percent in December, with 3.03 million people out of work in January, the agency said in a report Thursday.

When adjusted for seasonal factors, however, the rate dropped to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent in December.

The agency says the overall rise in January can be attributed to normal winter factors - like when construction work tails off - and that "the employment trend remains clearly upward."

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