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The labour market in March 2019

The onset of spring revival reduces unemployment
29 Mar 2019 | Press Release No. 13

"With the onset of spring revival, unemployment and underemployment continued to fall in March. Although the economic tailwind has subsided, the labour market continues to develop favourably", said the CEO of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Detlef Scheele, today at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment rate in March:
- 72,000 to 2,301,000

The number of unemployed compared to the previous year:
- 157,000

The unemployment rate compared to the previous month:
- 0.2 percentage points to 5.1 percent

Unemployment, Underemployment and Inactivity

Unemployment fell by 72,000 from February to March to 2,301,000. Adjusted for the seasonal influences, a decrease of 7,000 is calculated for April, compared to the previous month. Compared to the previous year, 157,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.1 percent. Compared to March of last year, it has decreased by0.4 percentage points. The unemployment rate determined according to the ILO acquisition concept of the Federal Statistical Office was 3.1 percent in February.

Underemployment, which also takes account of people in relieving labour market policy measures and short-term incapacity to work, has fallen by 9,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared with the previous month. Overall, underemployment in March 2019 was at 3,254,000. That was 185,000 less than a year ago.

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 people (in accordance with the domestic concept) in February increased by 39,000 in, on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to the previous month. With 44.82 million persons, it was 482,000 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 660,000 compared to last year. Overall, in January, according to extrapolated data by the BA, 33.16 million people were employed in positions subject to social security insurance. Seasonally adjusted, there is an increase of 61,000 from December to January.

Labour Demand

The need for personnel remains high at the beginning of the spring. In March, there were 797,000 jobs were registered with the BA, 19,000 more than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of open positions reported to the BA has slightly increased by1,000. The job index of the BA (BA-X) - an indicator of the demand for labour in Germany - remained unchanged at 255 points, in March 2019. It is thus 4 percent above the points in the previous year.

Cash Payment Benefits

773,000 people received unemployment benefits in March 2019, 3,000 more 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 4,015,000 in the month of March. Compared to March 2018, this was a decline of 241,000 people. 7.4 percent of persons of the working-age living in Germany were, therefore, in need of help.

Apprentice Training Market

From October 2018 to March 2019, 391,000 applicants registered for an apprenticeship at an unemployment office or a job centre. That is 9,000less than in the previous year. At the same time, 474,000 apprenticeship training positions were registered, 18,000 more than the year before. Most frequently, apprenticeships were registered for prospective business experts in retail (30,000), as well as salespersons and office management business experts, with 18,000 training opportunities each. However, the apprenticeship training market is currently still very much in motion. It is, therefore, too early to draw sound conclusions.