The Labour Market in March 2012: Spring Recovery Leads to Decrease in Unemployment
Press Info 011 of 29.03.2012
"The current economic slump has had almost no effects on the labour market. Unemployment decreased due to the beginning spring recovery. Employment and employment covered by social insurance continue to remain significantly in the plus. The demand for employees remains high," said Frank-J. Weise, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit - BA), in Nuremberg today at the monthly press conference.
- Unemployment figure in March:
-82,000 auf 3,028,000
- Unemployment figure compared to the previous year:
- Unemployment rate in March:
-0.2 percentage points to 7.2 percent
Unemployment, under-employment and joblessness
Unemployment decreased by 82,000 to 3,028,000 from February to March. In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment decreased by 18,000. Compared to the previous year, the number of unemployed persons declined by 182,000. The increase in employment covered by social insurance is fundamental to this decline, thus tending to improve the chances of ending unemployment by taking up employment. Seen from a medium-term perspective, besides the economic situation, also the structural change and the reforms on the labour market significantly improved these chances. Hence, unemployment has developed more positively over the last couple of years than could be expected ten years ago given the same economic situation.
Under-employment (without short-time work) also includes persons who participate, for example, in measures of labour market policy providing relief or are not considered as unemployed due to other reasons. It thus provides a more comprehensive picture of the deficit in regular employment than unemployment. In March, under-employment was 4,066,000, which is 377,000 less than one year ago. Under-employment – also because of the decrease in labour market policies providing relief – thus declined more strongly than unemployment.
Unemployment determined with the ILO concept of employment by the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) was 2.49 million and the unemployment rate 5.9 percent in Germany in February.
Development in unemployment insurance
The number of persons within unemployment insurance (SGB III) decreased by 73,000 to 955,000 as compared to February. Compared to March 2011, there is a decrease of 54,000. 923,000 persons received unemployment benefit in March. This is 70,000 less than in the previous month and 22,000 less than one year ago.
Development of basic benefits
The number of unemployment benefit II recipients within basic benefits (SGB II) continues to decrease as well and was 4,512,000 in March. Compared to February, the number of unemployment benefit II recipients decreased by 4,000; compared to March 2011, the number declined by 254,000. 8.4 percent of the German population of working age are in need of assistance. The number of unemployed persons receiving basic benefits decreased by 9,000 to 2,073,000 compared to February and by 128,000 compared to the level of the previous year. One reason why a great part of the unemployment benefit II recipients is not registered as unemployed is the fact that these people are employed, have young children to look after, care for relatives or are still students.
Employment and employment covered by social insurance
Employment and employment covered by social insurance increased further and lie significantly above the level of the previous year. According to information of the Federal Statistical Office, the number of employed persons increased by 587,000 to 41.10 million in February as compared to the previous year. According to BA projections, employment covered by social insurance was 28.58 million in January and thus 712,000 more as compared to the previous year. Employment covered by social insurance increases in all federal states and in most branches of industry – most of all in the manufacturing industry, the business services industry and trade.
Demand for labour
The demand for labour continues to remain at a high level. In March, the stock of reported vacancies was 490,000; 48,000 more than in the previous year. The demand rises in almost every branch of industry. Currently, the demand for experts from the mechatronics, electronics, metal, mechanical/automotive engineering, logistics and health industries is particularly high. The BA's job index, the BA-X, rose from February to March by one point to 176 points. As compared to the previous year, it shows a plus of 13 points.
From October 2011 to March 2012, a total of 405,000 vocational training vacancies have been reported to the training placement departments of the employment agencies and the Jobcenters; this is 22,000 more that in the same period last year. Additionally, a total of 405,000 applicants contacted training placement to assist them finding a training position. This is 17,000 more than a year before. It is, however, at this time still too early to provide a safe estimate of the further development of the training market based on these data. The chambers' data on concluded training contracts to date will also only be available within the next months.