German unemployment increased only marginally in October and the jobless rate remained near a record low, despite sluggish economic activity.
The number of people out of work increased by a seasonally adjusted 6,000 after falling a revised 9,000 in September, data from the Federal Employment Agency showed Wednesday. Economists had forecast a monthly rise of 3,000.
The jobless rate held steady at 5 percent in October, in line with expectations, and remained near a record low.
The current economic weakness is leaving its marks on the job market, Federal Employment Agency head Detlef Scheele said. But all in all, it remains robust, the official added.
The German labor market remains resilient to the economic downturn, Eckart Tuchtfeld, a Commerzbank economist, said. However, the prospects for the labor market are clouding, Tuchtfeld noted.
The economist continues to expect that employment will tend to increase, but progress will become more difficult.
In its monthly report, released early this month, Bundesbank said the largest euro area economy might have entered a technical recession in the third quarter. However, a deep recession is not expected.
The International Monetary Fund forecast the German economy to grow only 0.5 percent this year.
Data from Destatis, released earlier on Wednesday, revealed that the adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.1 percent in September.
According to results of the labor force survey, 1.32 million people were unemployed in September, down by 106,000 people compared with the same month a year earlier.
The unemployment data for the euro area is due on October 31. The jobless rate in the single currency bloc is seen unchanged at 7.4 percent in September.
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