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The labour market in July 2017

Unemployment is increasing due to time of year

01 Aug 2017 | Press Release No. 18

"The news from the labour market is positive: although the number of unemployed people has increased in July due to seasonal reasons, if adjusted for the seasonal change, there was actually a decline. Employment has, once again, grown strongly and the demand for new employees continues to grow to a high level", said the Chairman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Detlef Scheele, today at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment figure in July:
+45,000 to 2,518,000

Unemployment figure compared with the previous year:

Unemployment rate compared with the previous month:
+0.1 percentage points to 5.6 per cent

Unemployment, underemployment and inactivity

From June to July, the number of unemployed has increased by 45,000 to 2,518,000. Adjusted for the usual seasonal influences, unemployment fell by 9,000 compared to the previous month. Compared to the previous year, 143,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed.

Underemployment, which also includes individuals participating in labour market-relieving measures and those with short-term inability to work, has declined by a seasonally adjusted 8,000, which is a rate similar to that of unemployment. Overall, in July 2017, underemployment affected 3,508,000 individuals. That was 53,000 less than a year ago. Thus, it fell less sharply than the unemployment in the previous year. This is caused by extending the labour market policies, especially for refugees, which was not the case during the previous year.

The inactivity-related unemployment, determined by the ILO information gathering concept of the Federal Statistical Office, amounted to 1.56 million in June, and the inactivity-related unemployment rate was 3.6 per cent.

Gainful employment and employment subject to social security insurance

Gainful employment and employment subject to social security insurance continued to grow strongly, compared with the previous year. According to the Federal Statistical Office, in the month of June, the seasonally adjusted number of gainfully employed persons (using the domestic concept) rose by 46,000, compared to the previous month. At44.38 million, it was 670,000 higher than in the previous year. The increase is mainly due to more jobs subject to social security insurance. According to the numbers issued by the BA, this number increased from April to May, seasonally adjusted, by 75,000. Overall, in May, according to data rounded upwards, 32.14 million of people are in employment subject to social security insurance. This number is 744,000 more than the previous year.

Labour Demand

The demand for employees is growing dynamically, at a high level. InJuly there were 750,000 jobs reported to the BA, 76,000 more than in the previous year. Seasonally adjusted demand rose by 11,000 compared to the previous month. The employment index of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) - an indicator of the demand for labour in Germany - rose in July 2017 by 3 points to a new high of 238 points. At plus 21 points, the previous year's gap is still very significant.

Cash Payments

A total of 728,000 persons received  unemployment benefits in the month of July 2017, 33,000 fewer than in the previous year. The number of employable persons eligible for unemployment benefit within the framework of the Basic Insurance for Employment Seekers (SGB II) was 4,409,000 in the month ofJuly. Compared with July  2016, this was an increase of 97,000 persons. 8.1 percent of the working-age population were thus in need of help.

Apprentice Training Market

The apprentice training market has been developing steadily in 2016/17. From October 2016 to July 2017,512,000 applicants registered for a training position. That is 2,000 more than in the previous year. At the same time, 512,000 training positions were registered, 1,000 more than the year before. Nationwide, the number of training positions and the number of applicants for them is mathematically balanced. However, as in previous years, disparities are emerging that make the balancing of labor supply and demand considerably more difficult. In addition to the geographic region or job qualification, the chances of obtaining a training position depend very much on career aspirations. Throughout Germany, in July 2017,  the highest number of unfilled training positions were reported for business specialists within the retail sector (13,000 unfilled training position offers),  sales persons (11,000unfilled training positions) and cooks (6,000 unfilled training positions). Altogether, across the whole of Germany in July 2017, there were 179,000 unfilled training positions against 151,000 applicants needing such positions. If we add the number of "applicants with alternatives" who were looking for an apprenticeship to the unemployed applicants in July 2017, then the number of registered applicants for an apprenticeship training position was 16,200 higher than the number of unfilled training places. Currently the apprentice training market is still in motion. By September, experience tells us that many of the applicants not yet provided for will find training or an alternative, and training positions will continue to be filled.