Germany’s labor market remains stable despite numerous prophecies of doom, even in times of an economic downturn. The number of unemployed in germany fell by 30 in february compared with january.000 decreased to 2.396 million.
However, with the rate remaining at 5.3 percent, that is 23.000 more than a year ago, the federal employment agency announced in nurnberg on friday. 885.000 people had received unemployment benefits in february.
Possible effects of the spread of the new coronavirus are not taken into account in the february figures. However, the federal agency announced that short-time allowances could be paid, for example, if supply chains were cut and therefore only limited work could be done in companies. There are initial inquiries from companies in baden-wurttemberg, lower saxony and thuringia, said the head of the federal agency, detlef scheele, on friday. However, no official application has been made so far. It is not possible at this time to estimate how severe the impact on the labor market as a whole could be.
The seasonal drop in unemployment in february was comparatively strong, it was reported. Scheele also attributed this to the mild winter. Nevertheless, the stuttering economy took its toll on the labor market. "The labor market continues to show signs of the weak economy," said scheele. Economists had recently revised their growth forecasts for the german economy downwards once again.
The number of people employed rose slightly in february, but not by as much for a long time as in the boom years of 2018 and 2019. While new jobs were added in the healthcare, nursing and telecommunications sectors, for example, almost 80 percent of the temporary staffing sector’s workforce fell.000 jobs gone.
"Domestic consumption and construction investment will remain the mainstays of the economy for the time being," said k chief economist fritzi kohler-geib. "This is due to the good employment situation and traceable wage increases. Real wages increased by an average of two percent in 2019."
Scheele made a strong case for the immigration of skilled workers from abroad to germany. Half of the increase in employment over the past five years has been generated by foreigners. "The afd party, which thinks you can win anything with xenophobic resentment, is endangering prosperity in this country," said scheele. Without the employment of foreigners, these jobs could not have been generated.
Scheele’s colleague on the executive board, daniel terzenbach, said the new, 1. The law on the immigration of skilled workers, which came into force in march, must now be filled with life – above all, learning the german language must be made more attractive abroad. Germany is competing with anglo-saxon and spanish-speaking countries for skilled workers. The language hurdle is deeper there. Terzenbach described the federal government’s goal of recruiting up to 25,000 specialists a year through the law as ambitious.
Practitioners currently criticize above all the high entry requirements for non-EU foreigners, which are sometimes handled differently in the federal states and administrative divisions. For the first time, the skilled workers immigration act allows skilled workers to come to germany, even from professions that are not considered to be in high demand and without a university degree. A number of five to ten special partner countries should also alleviate the problem of recognizing foreign training. Immigrants from these countries were able to work in germany for three years, during which time they had the opportunity to obtain recognition of their vocational training.
Nurnberg statisticians expect a further increase in short-time work. In december, the number of short-time workers was around 90.000, as an extrapolation showed. For march, the federal agency estimates that the number will rise to 124,000.000 will rise. This means that short-time work is currently slightly above the level seen during the european sovereign debt crisis in 2012/2013. But still well below the figures from the 2008/2009 financial crisis, when more than 1.4 million people in germany claimed short-time allowances.
Employees whose companies are affected by the new type of coronavirus could also receive short-time working benefits. "The entitlement to short-time allowance must basically be based on an unavoidable event or economic reasons. This is the case, for example, when deliveries fail and production has to be cut back," the federal agency announced on friday.
An unavoidable event also occurs when companies are closed due to government protection measures, for example. But it is important that the companies report the short-time work in advance to the responsible employment agency.
Numerous companies in germany are dependent on supplies of materials and components from china for their production. Economists fear substantial losses if the situation around the virus does not ease comparatively quickly.