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The Labour Market in July 2018

 Sharper rise in unemployment only seasonal

31 Jul 2018 | Press Release No. 20

"Unemployment and underemployment increased in July for seasonal reasons alone, with declines after seasonally adjusted. "The development in the labour market is therefore very favourable, but not so lively", said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), today at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment numbers in July:
+ 49,000 up to 2,325,000

The number of unemployed compared to the previous year:
- 193,000

Unemployment rate compared to the previous month:
-+ 0.1 percentage point down to 5.1 percent

Unemployment, Under-employment and Inactivity

Due to the onset of the summer break, unemployment rose by 49,000 from June to July to 2,325,000. Adjusted for the seasonal influences, a decrease of 6,000 is calculated for June, compared to the previous month. Compared to the previous year, 193,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed.

Under-employment, which also includes people in various programs under labour market relieving measures and those with short-term inability to work, fell by 12,000 in seasonally adjusted terms, compared with the previous month. Overall, in June 2018, the number of underemployed was 3,258,000 persons. That was 242,000 less than a year ago.

The inactivity-related unemployment, determined by the ILO information gathering concept of the Federal Statistical Office, amounted to 1.49 million in June, and the inactivity-related unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

Gainful Employment and Employment Subject to Social Security Insurance

Employment and employment subject to social security insurance continued to increase. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of employed persons (according to the domestic concept) rose by a seasonally adjusted 28,000 in June, compared with the previous month. With 44.94million persons, it was 580,000 higher than in the previous year. The increase is due solely to more jobs subject to social security insurance becoming available. This number increased by 746,000 compared to last year. Overall, in May, according to extrapolated data,32.88 million people were employed in positions subject to social security insurance. Based on this projection, employment subject to social security insurance contributions increased from April to May by a seasonally adjusted 43,000. After the exceptionally strong increases in the winter months, the pace of growth has slowed down.

Labour Demand

The demand for new employees continues to be very high. In July 823,000 jobs were registered with the BA, 72,000 more than a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, labour demand rose by 6,000 compared to the previous month. The BA (BA-X) employment index - an indicator of the demand for labour in Germany - rose by 2 points in July 2018, to 256 points. The previous year's value is exceeded by 17 points.

Cash Benefit Payments

 Overall 705,000 persons were receiving unemployment benefit payments in July 2018, which is 25,000less 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 4,176,000 in the month of July. When compared with July 2017, this indicates a decrease by 219,000 persons. 7.7percent of the working-age population in Germany was, therefore, in need of help.

Apprentice Training Market

For those seeking apprentice training, the chances of finding a training place have improved further, in mathematical terms. From October 2017 to July 2018, 502,000 applicants registered for an apprenticeship at an unemployment office or a job centre, 10,000 less than in the previous year. Of those seeking training, 140,000 were still without a placement in July. In addition, 45,000 applicants who already have an alternative position, were still looking for a training placement. At the same time, 531,000 training positions were registered, since October. That was21,000 more than a year ago. In July, 201,000 apprenticeship positions were still unclaimed. Experience tells us that many of the applicants not yet provided for will find apprenticeship training or an alternative by September, and training positions will continue to be filled. As in the previous years, in 2017 / 2018, too, there are regional, occupational and qualifying disparities, which make the balancing of labour supply and demand considerably more difficult.