The labour market in October 2023

 Autumn revival remains weak

02 Nov 2023 | Press release no.47

“The German economy has now been pretty much treading water for at least a year. Such a long period of time invariably has clear consequences for the labour market. Yet despite the economic data, the situation is comparatively good,” said the chair of the executive board of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Andrea Nahles, today on the occasion of the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment rate in October:
-20,000 to 2,607,000
Number of unemployed persons compared with the previous year:
Unemployment rate compared with the previous month:
unchanged at 5.7 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and economic inactivity

In October 2023, the autumn revival saw unemployment fall to 2,607,000. With a fall of 20,000, however, this is a very small decrease for October. The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed persons increased by 30,000 compared with the previous month. Compared with October last year, the number of unemployed persons is 165,000 higher. The unemployment rate in October was 5.7 percent, the same as in September. Compared with the same month in the previous year, the rate increased by 0.4 percentage points. The rate of unemployment in September, as determined by the Federal Statistical Office according to the labour force concept of the ILO, amounted to 3.0 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, underemployment, which along with unemployment also includes short-term incapacity to work, increased by 26,000 compared with the previous month. It amounted to 3,441,000 people in October 2023. This is 191,000 more than a year ago. Without taking Ukrainian refugees into account, underemployment would only have been 122,000 higher than it was this time last 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 the current data, short-time work due to market conditions was reported for 82,000 people from 1st until 26th October.
The latest data on the actual take-up is available until August 2023. According to preliminary extrapolated data from the Federal Employment Agency, cyclical short-time allowance was paid for 122,000 employees in this month, after 114,000 in July and 160,000 in June.

Economic activity and employment

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the seasonally adjusted number of economically active persons (according to the inland concept) in September 2023 increased by 3,000 compared with the previous month. At 46.19 million people, it was 297,000 higher than in the previous year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, from July to August 2023 employment with social security contributions fell slightly, by 3,000. According to projections by the BA, the number of employed persons rose in August compared to the previous year by 218,000 to 34.79 million, whereby the rise is due solely to foreign nationals. 7.58 million people were in low-paid “mini job” employment in August 2023, 220,000 more than in the previous year month. Of this total, for 4.22 million people, this low-paid employment was their only job, and for 3.36 million it was just a side job.

The demand for labour

In October, 749,000 job vacancies were registered with the BA, 98,000 fewer than a year ago. The BA Jobs Index (BA X) – an indicator for the demand for staff in Germany which also takes the number of registered jobs and new jobs into account – remained unchanged in October 2023 at 115 points. Compared to the same month last year, the BA-X recorded a decline of 14 points.

Cash benefits for unemployment and persons requiring support

781,000 people received unemployment benefit in October 2023, 90,000 more than a year ago. The number of persons capable of working and entitled to benefits through the Basic Income for Jobseekers (SGB II) in October was 3,911,000. Compared to October 2022, this was an increase of 79,000 people. Therefore, 7.1 percent of people of working age living in Germany were in need of support.