( AFP ) - The unemployment rate in Germany held steady at 8.1 percent in December, the Federal Labour Agency reported Thursday.
The number of job seekers rose by 28,000 to 3.406 million in a month-on-month comparison, the agency said in a statement.
Joblessness traditionally rises in the winter months as sectors such as construction slow down production due to inclement weather.
Seasonally adjusted figures provided by the central bank, the Bundesbank, considered to give a more accurate picture of the state of the job market, showed around 78,000 fewer unemployed, significantly better than the 25,000 average figure analysts had forecast.
For the whole of 2007, the unadjusted jobless rate came in at 9.0 percent, down 1.8 percentage points, the labour agency said.
"The demand for manpower remains high and leads us to expect continuing growth in employment in 2008 as well," agency chief Frank Weise said in a statement.