“Short-time work is focused on industry”
Dhe number of short-time workers in Germany has Ifo Institute reportedly increased in January due to the economic slowdown. It rose to 205,000, after 186,000 in December, according to estimates by the Munich researchers published on Tuesday. These are based on the Ifo business surveys of thousands of companies and figures from the Federal Employment Agency. This corresponds to 0.6 percent of the workforce. “Short-time work remains at a low level,” said Ifo researcher Sebastian Link. “That fits in with a very mild winter recession.”
Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter due to the impact of the energy crisis, high inflation and supply shortages. The Ifo Institute also expects a minus for the current first quarter. If there are two negative quarters in a row, there is talk of a recession, which according to most experts could end as early as spring.
“Short-time work is concentrated on industry,” emphasized the institute. The proportion is particularly high in the paper, leather and textile industries with 6.4 percent of employees or 23,000 people. This is followed by the automotive industry with 4.7 percent or 44,000 people and metal production and processing with 4.4 percent or 12,000 employees. 3.5 percent are among the printers (4,000 people). Next comes the area of chemistry/pharmaceuticals/rubber with 2.6 percent (23,000). In the manufacture of metal products, it affects 2.3 percent (19,000). For all service providers together, it is 0.1 percent or 16,000 employees.
“Compared to the Corona period, very few people claim short-time work benefits,” said Ifo researcher Link. In January 2022, the number was 847,000 short-time workers or 2.5 percent. At the peak in April 2020, it was even six million or 17.8 percent. short-time work is a kind of part-time unemployment, especially when there is a temporary lack of orders. Employees receive short-time work benefits for the hours lost.