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The labor market in April 2019

Continuing job creation
30 Apr 2019 | Press Release No. 16

"With the continuing spring recovery", Detlef Scheele, CEO of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), said today on the occasion of the monthly press conference in Nuremberg, "unemployment and underemployment fell again in April, employment subject to social security insurance contributions continues to rise, and companies' demand for new employees is at a very high level."

Unemployment in April:
- 72,000 to 2,229,000

The number of unemployed compared to the previous year:
- 155,000

The unemployment rate compared to the previous month:
- 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and inactivity

In the course of the spring upturn, unemployment fell by 72,000 to 2,229,000 from March to April. Adjusted for seasonal factors, a decrease of 12,000 is calculated for April compared to the previous month. Compared to the previous year, 155,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 percent. Compared to March of last year it has decreased by 0.4 percentage points. Compared to February of last year, the unemployment rate determined by the Federal Statistical Office in accordance with the ILO acquisition concept has dropped by 3.5 percentage points.

Underemployment, which includes people in labor market relief policy measures and the short-term incapacitated, has fallen by 5,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the previous month. Overall underemployment in April 2019 was 3,198,000. That was 154,000 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 rise. According to the Federal Statistical Office the number of employed persons (according to the domestic concept) rose by a seasonally adjusted 33,000 in June compared with the previous month. At 44.94 million persons, it was 491,000 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 671,000 compared to last year. In January, according to data extrapolated by the BA, a total of 33.22 million people were employed in work subject to social security insurance. There was  a seasonally adjusted  increase of 48,000 from January to February.

Labor demand

The demand for new employees remains at a high level. 796,000 jobs were registered with the BA in April, 11,000 more than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs registered with the BA  decreased by 4,000. The BA's job index (BA-X), one indicator of the demand for labor in Germany, fell by 1 point to 252 points in April 2019. - putting it 1 point above the previous year's value.

Cash benefits

733,000 people received unemployment benefits in April 2019, 26,000 more than a year ago. The number of employable persons eligible for unemployment benefit within the framework of Basic Insurance for Employment Seekers (SGB II) was 4,001,000 in the month of March. This was a decline of 230,000 compared with April 2018. 7.3 percent of persons of working age living in Germany were thus in need of help.

Apprentice training market

From October 2018 to July 2019 , 418,000 applicants registered for an apprenticeship at an unemployment office or a job center: 10,000 less than in the previous year. 251,000 of these were still unplaced in April . At the same time, 480,000 apprenticeship training positions were registered: 5,000 more than the year before. Of these, 268,000 apprenticeships were vacant in April. Most frequently, apprenticeships have been reported for trainees looking for careers in retail (30,000), office  management (19,000) and selling (18,000). The apprenticeship training market, however, is currently still very much in flux. It is thus too early to draw sound conclusions.