TDespite the increasingly gloomy economic prospects for the coming months, the research institute of the Federal agency for work no major upheavals on the job market at the moment. This is the result of his new forecast for the development of unemployment and employment until the end of 2023. Nevertheless, there is also bad news for young people: Students have to wait longer for a one-off payment of 200 euros, which is intended to relieve them in the difficult economic situation.
"The labor market is being adversely affected by the economic setbacks, but we do not expect a slump in view of the high demand for labour," summarized Enzo Weber, division manager at Nürnberger Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research (IAB) summarized the results of its forecast published on Friday. The number of people in employment will continue to rise in the coming year, albeit more slowly than before: Based on an annual average of almost 45 million people in employment in 2021, the institute expects an increase of 561,000 people in employment this year and a further 216,000 in the coming year.
The number of unemployed will rise slightly to 2.47 million in 2023, after falling to 2.42 million this year - although "also due to the registration of Ukrainian refugees in basic security". Since June, those in need of help from the Ukraine have no longer received asylum seeker benefits, they are being supported directly via the Hartz IV system, which is to be continued as "citizen's allowance" from January.
State demand supports the labor market
However, the expected growth in the workforce is not primarily due to the demand for labor from private companies, but from the state: in the “public service providers, education, health” sector alone, the institute expects an increase of 210,000 jobs subject to social security contributions this year and a further 150,000 in the coming year The year 2023. "This is mainly due to the expansion of child day care and the aging of society and is reinforced by the need for care for refugees from Ukraine," says Weber. He expects "largely stagnant" for the manufacturing industry.
The traffic light coalition is now preparing to relax short-time work rules again in order to protect employees from job losses by means of state wage subsidies. The Bundestag discussed a draft law on Friday in the first reading. It includes, for example, a social security tax refund for companies, a maximum duration of short-time work extended from 12 to 24 months and an option to also use short-time work in temporary employment agencies. The regulations will not come into force for the time being. The law is intended to Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) and the government, however, to put them into force quickly in the event of a crisis through simple statutory regulations.
The government is also hoping for relief for employees through a special regulation that exempts one-off payments of up to 3,000 euros from taxes and duties: This is intended to encourage companies to pay such special surcharges as an inflation buffer in addition to the regular wage. As the "Spiegel" reported on Friday, citing the Ministry of Finance, the option should be available until the end of 2024. This is followed by demands from the ranks of the collective bargaining parties: Among other things, they are given the opportunity to spread these one-off payments over several stages in the course of industry collective bargaining rounds, which can facilitate compromises.
Students have to wait longer for one-off payments
However, the one-off payment of 200 euros that students are to receive as part of the relief package will probably not be paid out until the beginning of January. This emerges from an internal paper from the coalition committee, which was presented to the AFP news agency on Friday. The exact modalities of the payment depend on the result of the forthcoming federal-state consultations, it is said in a response from the Federal Ministry of Education to a parliamentary question by CSU MP Katrin Staffler.
First, the "Spiegel" had reported on the delay. "The federal government has so far left students completely out in the rain in the current crisis," said Staffler. First she forgot the students in the energy price flat rate. "Now the payment of the 200-euro subsidy is in danger of failing due to the lack of planning on the part of Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger."
This "still cannot say how the one-off payment should arrive in the students' accounts," criticized Staffler. The students had to have the 200-euro subsidy in their account by October 14 at the latest, she demanded. The left criticized the delays. "Nobody should be surprised if we have a wave of university dropouts this winter because they can no longer afford their apartment," explained Nicole Gohlke, member of the Bundestag. "The federal government willfully sends students into unemployment if they don't help quickly and easily."
Also the ring of Christian Democrats students (RCDS) called for the aid to be transferred quickly and without bureaucracy. The Federal Government is called upon to support students in such emergencies in a targeted manner, said Federal Chairwoman Franca Bauernfeind. “Even the question of the payment shows the lack of a concept by the federal government.” RCDS Vice Jonas Neuhoff added that nothing would come of the “quick and unbureaucratic payment” that the federal government had promised. “Price increases will continue for the foreseeable future. It is therefore imperative to think beyond the promised one-off payment.”