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The labour market in December 2018

Positive development at the end of the year, also
04 Jan 2019 | Press Release No. 1

"The labour market has continued to perform well, although the economic upturn has lost some momentum. The number of unemployed people continues to decline, the employment subject to social security insurance continues on its path of growth, and the demand for new employees is still at a very high level, "said the Federal Employment Agency's (BA) CEO Detlef Scheele today, on the occasion of the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment rate in December:
+ 23,000 to 2,210,000

Unemployment figures compared to the previous year:
- 175,000

The unemployment rate compared to the previous month:
+ 0.1 percent points to 4.9 percent

Unemployment, Underemployment and Inactivity

With the onset of the winter break, unemployment rose by 23,000 from November to December to 2,210,000. Adjusted for the seasonal influences, a decrease of 14,000 is calculated for Juni, compared to the previous month. Compared to the previous year, 175,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed.

Under-employment, which also includes people in various programmes under labour market-relieving measures and those with short-term inability to work, fell by 11,000 in seasonally adjusted terms, compared with the previous month. Overall, the underemployment in December 2018 was at 3,162,000 persons. That was 210,000 less than a year ago.

Inactivity, determined by the Federal Statistical Office according to the ILO acquisition concept, amounted to 1.41 million; and the inactivity rate amounted to 3.2 percent in November.

Gainful employment and employment subject to social security insurance contributions

Employment and employment subject to social security insurance contributions continued to be on the rise. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of employed persons (according to the domestic concept) rose by a seasonally adjusted 34,000 in November, compared with the previous month. With 45.22 million persons, it was 483,000 higher than in the previous year. The increase is largely due to the growth in employment subject to social security insurance contributions. This number increased by 696,000 compared to last year. Overall in October, according to extrapolated data by the BA, 33.47 million people were employed in positions subject to social security insurance contributions. Seasonally adjusted, there is from September to October an increase of 68,000.

Labour Demand

Staffing requirements remain high at the end of the year. In December,781,000   jobs were registered with the BA, 20,000 more than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs registered with the BA decreased by 1,000. The BA job index (BA-X) - an indicator of the demand for labour in Germany - increased by one point to 253 points in December 2018, which corresponds to the previous year's figure.

Cash Payment Benefits

Overall 705,000 persons were receiving in December 2018 unemployment benefit payments, which is 6,000 less 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 in December at 4,005,000. Compared to December 2017, this was a decrease by 242,000 people. 7.3 percent of the working-age persons living in Germany were, therefore, in need of help.