The unemployment rate stood at 6.7 percent in seasonally adjusted terms in September, unchanged from August.
It was the lowest unemployment figure for a September since 1993, but the number of people registered as unemployed increased by 12,000 on August, the Federal Labour Office said.
That took analysts by surprise. They had projected a decline of around 2,000.
"The German economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the second quarter. Weak exports and investment could not be offset by stable consumption, which means that the continual growth seen in the preceding four quarters was halted," the labour office said in a statement.
"External economic uncertainty is having an increasing effect, notably the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine," the office continued.
"The signs for the third quarter are also very subdued. On the labour market, however, demand remains solid," it said.
In raw or unadjusted terms, the German jobless total fell by 94,000 to 2.808 million and the unadjusted jobless rate slipped to 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent, the office calculated.
At 6.7 percent, Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.
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