Unemployment in Germany rose during May, according to the latest set of official figures.
The country’s Labour Office said that, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of people out of work increased by around 21,000 to 2.963 million, well above analysts’ expectations.
Bad weather and a relatively high number of public holidays are being blamed for the increase.
However, the jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.9%.
Labour office chief Frank-Juergen Weise insisted that the German job market was “fundamentally sound and is developing solidly in a difficult economic environment”.
Analysts said that while the long, harsh winter was a factor, employers were also still cautious, following concerns about the economic situation in Italy and Cyprus.