Labour market in June 2023

Recognisable effects of weak economic development

30 Jun 2023 | Press release no.33

“We are now also feeling the difficult economic environment on the labour market: Unemployment is rising and employment growth is losing momentum,” said Andrea Nahles, Chairwoman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg today. 

Number of unemployed in June:
+11,000 to 2,555,000
Number of unemployed compared with the previous year:
Unemployment rate compared with the previous month:
unchanged at 5.5 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and economic inactivity

The weak economy is having an impact on the labour market. In June 2023, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of unemployed persons increased by 28,000 against the previous month. Without seasonal adjustment, unemployment rose by 11,000 to 2,555,000. Compared to June last year, the number of unemployed is 192,000 higher. Unemployment would still have risen even if Ukrainian refugees had not been taken into account. As in the previous month, the unemployment rate in June 2023 was 5.5%. Compared with the same month in the previous year, the rate increased by 0.3 percentage points. The unemployment rate measured by the Federal Statistical Office, based on the ILO concept of employment, stood at 2.9% in May.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, underemployment, which, in addition to unemployment, also includes changes in labour market policy and short-term incapacity to work, increased by 3,000 compared with the previous month. As of June 2023, it was at 3,409,000 people. That is 301,000 more than a year ago. Without the

taking into account of Ukrainian refugees, the under-employment rate would have been only 75,000 higher than in the previous year.

Short-time work

Before the start of short-time work, companies are required to submit a notification of the expected loss of work. According to current data, from 1st to 26th June inclusive, notification of cyclical short-time work was given for 45,000 people.

Up-to-date data on actual uptake is available up to April 2023. According to preliminary extrapolated data from the Federal Employment Agency, cyclical short-time allowance was paid for 135,000 employees in this month, after 160,000 in March and 151,000 in February.

Economic activity and employment

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the seasonally adjusted number of employed persons (according to the domestic concept) fell by 1,000 in May 2023 compared to the previous month. At 45.88 million persons, it was 365,000 higher than in the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, employment subject to social security contributions did not increase further from March to April 2023. Compared with the previous year, it rose in April by 290,000 to 34.66 million employees, according to BA projections. In April 2023, 7.47 million people were in marginal “mini-job” employment, 236,000 more than in the same month last year. Of this total, for 4.19 million people, the low-paid employment was their only job, and for 3.29 million a side job.

The demand for labour

In June, 769,000 vacancies were registered with the BA, 108,000 fewer than a year ago. This is a continuation of the seasonally adjusted decline in reported demand which has now been observed for one year. Overall, however, the amount of registered vacancies remains at a comparatively high level. The BA Jobs Index (BA-X) – an indicator of demand for staff in Germany, which, in addition to the number of registered jobs, also

takes new jobs into account – decreased by 3 points to 119 points in June 2023. Compared to the same month last year, the BA-X lost 17 points.

Cash benefits for unemployment and persons requiring support

766,000 people received unemployment benefits in June 2023, 77,000 more than a year ago. In June, the number of persons able to work and entitled to benefits in terms of the Basic Support for Job Seekers (SGB II) was 3,921,000. Compared to June 2022, this was an increase of 123,000 people. Therefore, 7.2 percent of people of working age living in Germany were in need of support.

The market for vocational training and apprenticeships

From October 2022 to June 2023, 374,000 applicants registered with the employment agencies and job centres for a training position. That was 2,000 fewer than the same period last year. This means that the decline is only slight. Of this total, 147,000 young people had not found an apprenticeship position or an alternative in June. At the same time, 497,000 in-company training places were registered, 1,000 more than one year ago. 256,000 of these remained unfilled. The apprenticeship market is still busy in June. These figures therefore only allow a preliminary assessment of development in the current reporting year.