German jobless rate ticks up to 5.6 pct on seasonal factors

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BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say the country's unemployment rate ticked up to 5.6 percent last month in a typical seasonal increase at the start of the summer holiday, but the underlying trend remained healthy.

The Federal Labor Agency said Tuesday 2.518 million people were registered as unemployed in July — 45,000 more than the previous month but 143,000 fewer than a year earlier. The unadjusted jobless rate was up from 5.5 percent.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the jobless rate was unchanged at 5.7 percent and the number of people without a job down 9,000 compared with the previous month — a bit better than the 5,000 economists predicted.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has been enjoying solid growth ahead of a September election in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term.

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