The German labour market has deteriorated again, with more than one in 10 people now looking for work, according to new government figures.
School leavers are struggling to find work
Germany's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 10.4% in July, up from 10.2% in June, the country's Federal Labour Office said.
That means an extra 94,500 people were out of work in July, bringing the total to 4.35 million.
Government promises to bring down Germany's stubbornly high rate of unemployment have failed as the economy has stagnated.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is currently pushing through more labour market and welfare reforms in an effort to improve the situation.
He has also proposed speeding up the introduction of 15.5bn euros (£10.9bn) worth of tax cuts in order to inject some life into the economy.
Unemployment usually increases during the summer months as
school-leavers sign on for the first time, although an increase in agriculture work can offset this.
But the seasonally adjusted figures, which take these factors into account, confirmed that dole queues were still growing.
The adjusted figures showed that unemployment rose by 7,000 people, with the total adjusted unemployed standing at 10.6% of the population.
"The general economic weakness is continuing to weigh on the
labour market. A fundamental improvement is not yet in sight," warned Federal Labour Office chief Florian Gerster.
But he stressed that the situation would have been worse were it not for the labour market reforms that have already been instigated.