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The labour market in June 2017

Weaker development at the end of spring upturn

30 Jun 2017 | Press Release No. 15

“In June, the number of unemployed people continued to fall for seasonal reasons. Employment and the companies' demand for new employees have increased significantly again,” said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), at today's monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment figure in June:
-25,000 to 2,473,000

Unemployment figure compared with the previous year:
-142,000

Unemployment rate compared with the previous month:
-0.1 percentage points to 5.5 per cent

Unemployment, underemployment and unemployment according to the ILO employment concept

The number of unemployed people fell by 25,000 to 2,473,000 from May to June. Seasonally adjusted, however, this is a small increase of 7,000 compared to the previous month. This is likely to be related to the fact that the favourable effects of the extraordinarily mild winter weather are offset at the end of the spring upturn. Compared to the previous year, 142,000 less people were registered as unemployed.

Underemployment, which also covers people taking part in relieving employment and training measures and those suffering from short-term incapacity for work, rose seasonally adjusted by 7,000, as well. In total, 3,496,000 people were underemployed in June 2017. This was 26,000 less than one year ago. Underemployment did thus not decrease as much as unemployment in comparison to the previous year. This is due to an expansion, compared to the previous year, of labour market policies particularly for refugees.

In May, the unemployment figures determined by the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) in accordance with the ILO employment concept were 1.57 million and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent.

Gainful employment and employment subject to social security contributions

Gainful employment and employment subject to social security contributions continued to grow considerably in comparison to the previous year. According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, the number of those in gainful employment (based on the national concept) rose seasonally adjusted by 36,000 in May compared to the previous month. At 44.16 million people, it increased by 648,000 in comparison to the previous year. The increase is mainly due to more employment subject to social security contributions. According to the BA's projection, it increased by 37,000 from March to April after seasonal adjustment. According to projected figures, a total of 32.03 million people was in employment subject to social security contributions in April. This was 727,000 more than one year ago.

Demand for labour

The demand for labour continues to grow dynamically on a high level. In June, the BA had 731,000 registered vacancies; 66,000 more than one year ago. Seasonally adjusted, demand has increased by 9,000 compared to the previous month. The BA’s vacancies index (BA-X), an indicator for the demand for labour in Germany, rose by 3 points to 235 points in June 2017. The +19-point increase compared with the previous year continues to be very considerable.

Cash benefits

A total of 685,000 people was in receipt of unemployment benefits in June 2017; 41,000 less than one year ago. In June, the number of employable beneficiaries in the basic benefit scheme for job seekers (Social Code II) was 4,424,000. Compared with June 2016, this was an increase of 106,000 people. Of the total number of persons of working age living in Germany, 8.1 per cent thus required assistance.

Vocational training market

The situation on the vocational training market has been stable in the vocational guidance year of 2016/17. Between October 2016 and June 2017, 489,000 applicants have registered for a training place with the employment agencies and the jobcenters. This was 2,000 more than in the same period of the previous year. At the same time, 496,000 training places were registered; 1,000 more than one year ago. The most frequently offered training places included commercial trainings in retail (30,000), trainings for sales clerks (21,000) and commercial trainings in office management (21,000). As in the previous years, regional, vocational and qualification-related disparities significantly complicating the adjustment of supply and demand are visible again in 2016/17. In June, however, the vocational training market is still subject to fluctuations. It is thus too soon for a well-founded evaluation.