The number of unemployed falls slightly – as many employees as never before

Employee in the production of electrical components

Without seasonal adjustment, the number of unemployed rose slightly.

(Photo: dpa)

Wiesbaden, Nuremberg, Berlin The number of unemployed in Germany fell in November thanks to a slight autumn revival – albeit less sharply than in previous years. It fell slightly in November by 8,000 to 2.434 million, as the Federal Employment Agency (BA) announced in Nuremberg on Wednesday. This is 117,000 more than a year ago.

The unemployment rate is 5.3 percent. Taking seasonal fluctuations into account, however, the number of unemployed rose by 17,000 from October to November.

“Overall, the job market is stable,” said BA board member Daniel Terzenbach in Nuremberg. “Although seasonally adjusted unemployment and underemployment have risen again and short-time work is increasing again, employment is growing significantly.”

The Federal Agency is again noticing an increase in short-time work. From November 1st to 24th, employers announced short-time work for 82,000 employees.

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Data on short-time work benefits actually paid out is only available up to September. In that month, the Federal Agency paid short-time work benefits for 157,000 employees. That is more than twice as many as in August.

There is still a slight reluctance in the industry

The willingness of companies to hire is still high, but has weakened somewhat, the Federal Agency further announced. In November, 823,000 vacancies were reported, 15,000 more than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, however, the stock decreased compared to October.

The Ifo employment barometer, which is calculated monthly exclusively for the Handelsblatt, rose again in November for the first time after six declines in a row – to 99.6 points, after 97.8 points in October. “Against the background of decreasing uncertainty, the number of employees in Germany could continue to rise,” commented Ifo expert Klaus Wohlrabe on the results of the barometer, which is based on the employment intentions of around 9,000 companies. Skills shortages will remain a permanent problem.

In industry, there is still a certain amount of caution when it comes to increasing the number of employees, even if the sub-indicator for manufacturing has risen again for the first time in five months. According to Ifo, when it comes to service providers, it is primarily the catering industry that is looking for employees, as Terzenbach also said, but the IT industry is also hiring. In trade, on the other hand, further layoffs are to be expected, said Wohlrabe.

Around 60,000 Ukrainians work subject to social security contributions

Refugees from Ukraine continue to influence the labor market. According to the Federal Agency, 189,000 people from Ukraine are currently unemployed. Around 620,000 people from Ukraine are on basic social security, including 200,000 children. By September, 59,000 Ukrainians had been employed subject to social security contributions, and another 18,000 in mini-jobs.

Despite the expected winter recession, the number of people in work in Germany rose to a record high. In October, 45.7 million people went to work, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday.

This exceeded the high reached only in the previous month by 113,000 or 0.2 percent. The increase was slightly above the October average of 97,000 people in the three pre-crisis years from 2017 to 2019. Compared to the same month last year, there is even an increase of 428,0000 or 0.9 percent.

Researchers see caution in the labor market

Most economists expect a recession for the current winter half-year. As a result, the dynamic on labour market ease up. However, many companies want to keep their employees despite the difficult economic situation. The reason for this is the shortage of skilled workers, which, according to forecasts by experts, is likely to worsen significantly in the coming years.

According to calculations by the Institute of German Economics (IW), which is close to employers, there is currently a shortage of 326,100 people in the so-called MINT professions of math, IT, natural sciences and technology alone to fill all the vacancies. This is well above the October figure of 263,000 in 2019 before the outbreak of the corona pandemic.

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