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Well qualified – less likely to be unemployed

New figures from the BA confirm the effect of training and qualification

21 Jun 2017 | Press Release No. 14

That academics have a lower risk of becoming unemployed than unskilled workers is known. The calculations of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) have been confirming this for many years.

It is new, however, that the statistics of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) now also comprise detailed regional figures on this issue. For 2015 and 2016, there is data available on the risk level of unemployment depending on the level of qualification – for the federal states, districts and employment agency regions.

People without any vocational qualification are five times more likely to be unemployed than trained specialists.

In 2016, the unemployment rate of people without any vocational qualification in Germany was nearly five times higher at 20.0 percent than for people with in-company and off-the-job training, whose rate was at 4.2 percent. Academics have the lowest unemployment rate; only 2.6% among them were unemployed.

Employees without vocational training have a significantly higher risk of losing their job in comparison with the other qualification groups. Furthermore, their chances of ending their unemployment by taking up a job are lower. The risk to become long-term unemployed is correspondingly higher for these people. The high unemployment risk of unskilled workers also leads to them representing half of those unemployed even though their share in the labour force as a whole is only 15 percent.

When considering the regions, the following picture emerges: the higher the overall unemployment rate in a region, the more significantly the qualification-specific differences become visible. In regions with a lower unemployment rate, the difference in unemployment between people with and without vocational training is smaller than in regions with a high unemployment rate.

In addition, an East-West gap has been ascertained: in East-German districts, the gap between well-trained people and unskilled workers is particularly large when making comparisons to a district with a similar unemployment rate in the West.

Data and background information:

The labor market data on the qualification groups is compiled in the spreadsheet publication “Qualification-specific unemployment rates (annual figures)”. The methodology report “Introducing qualification-specific unemployment rates in the BA statistics” describes the methodology and outlines selected findings. The publications are available via the following links: