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A good start into the new year

The Labour Market in January 2019   
31 Jan 2019 | Press Release No. 7

"Unemployment and under-employment have - as normal for January - increased. Seasonally adjusted, both numbers have declined. 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.

The number of unemployed in January:

+ 196,000 to 2,406,000

The number of unemployed compared to the previous year:

- 165,000

The unemployment rate compared to the previous month:

+ 0.4 percentage points to  5.3 percent

Unemployment, Underemployment and Inactivity

With the onset of the winter break, unemployment rose by 196,000 to 2,406,000 from December to January. Adjusted for the seasonal influences, a decrease of 2,000 is calculated for January, compared to the previous month. Compared to the previous year, 165,000 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 22,000 in seasonally adjusted terms, compared with the previous month. Overall, in January 2019, the number of underemployed was 3,291,000 persons. That was 222,000 less than a year ago.

Inactivity, determined by the Federal Statistical Office according to the ILO acquisition concept, amounted to 1.34 million; and the inactivity rate amounted to 3.1 percent in December.

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 42,000 in December, compared with the previous month. With 45.08 million persons, it was 488,000 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 666,000 compared to last year. Overall in November, according to extrapolated data by the BA, 33.50 million people were employed in positions subject to social security insurance contributions. Seasonally adjusted, from October to November there was an increase by 50,000.  

Labour Demand

Staffing needs remain high at the end of the year. In January, there were 758,000 job openings registered with the BA, 21,000 more than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs reported to the BA has increased by 3,000. The BA job index (BA-X) - an indicator of the demand for labour in Germany - increased by one point to 255 points in January 2019, and is thus four points above the previous year's figure.

Cash Payment Benefits

A total of 825,000 people received unemployment benefits in January 2019, 9,000 less than a year ago. The number of employable persons eligible for unemployment benefit within the framework of the Basic Insurance for Employment Seekers (SGB II) was 4,007,000 in January. When compared with January 2018, this indicates a decrease by 250,000 persons. 7.4 percent of persons of the working-age living in Germany were, therefore, in need of help.

Apprenticeship training market - End of follow-up placements and the outlook for next autumn

Between October 2018 and January 2019 there were altogether an additional 72,000 apprenticeship training positions reported for immediate entry, to be filled. From those, 11,000 were still open in January. At the same time, 67,000 applicants were registered, who continued to seek training for immediate entry, repeatedly or for the first time. In total, in January 2019 - at the end of the follow-up placement - 27,000 registered applicants were left without a placement, and a further 21,000 applicants, despite existing alternatives, continued to search for an apprenticeship training position.

In January, first data are available for the new career counselling year 2018 / 2019. The number of registered apprenticeship training places, at 413,000, is 18,000 higher than in January of the previous year. The number of applicants, at 318,000, is 6,000 lower than that of the previous year. The apprenticeship training market is currently still very much in motion. It is, therefore, too early to draw sound conclusions.