The labor market in May 2019

Business slows down spring revival

29 May 2019 | Press Release No. 17

"In the labor market, the first effects of the recent somewhat weaker economic development are evident: Unemployment has therefore increased - but also as a result of special factors - in May, the demand of companies for new employees is noticeably weakening at a high level, but employment subject to social insurance remains on growth course", said the CEO of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Detlef Scheele, today at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment numbers in May:
+7,000 to 2,236,000

The number of unemployed compared to the previous year:

The unemployment rate compared to the previous month:
unchanged at 4.9 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and inactivity

Unemployment rose by 7,000 from April to May to 2,236,000. Adjusted for the seasonal influences, a significant increase of 60,000 is calculated for May compared to the previous month. The greater part of the increase is attributable to a one-off effect resulting from audit activities on the employment status of unemployed II beneficiaries. In addition, however, the first effects of the weakening economy are also pointing to unemployment, especially in the area of unemployment insurance. Compared to the previous year, 80,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed. The unemployment rate, as in April, is 4.9 percent. Compared to  March  of last year, it has   decreased by 0.3   percentage points. The unemployment rate determined by the Federal Statistical Office in accordance with the ILO acquisition concept was 3.2 percent in April.

Underemployment, which includes people in labor market relief policy measures and the short-term incapacitated, has increased by 42,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the previous month. Overall, underemployment in March 2019 was at 3,190,000. That was 94,000 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 32,000 in April , compared with the previous month. With 45.11 million persons, it was 484,000 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 646,000 compared to last year. In January, according to data extrapolated by the BA, a total of 33.31 million people were employed in work subject to social security insurance. Seasonally adjusted, there is   an increase of   27,000 from February  to  March.

Labor demand

The demand for new employees is on a high level, but is weakening. In May,  792,000  jobs   were registered with the BA, 1,000 less than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs registered with the BA   decreased by    6,000.  The job index of the BA (BA-X) - an indicator of the demand for labor in Germany - decreased in May 2019 by 3 points to 248 points. It is thus -6 points below the previous year's value.

Monetary benefits

691,000 people received   unemployment benefits   inMay 2019,  21,000   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  3,979,000  in   May. Compared to  March     2018,  this was a decline of 223,000 people.  7.3 percent of persons of working age living in Germany were thus in need of help.

Apprentice training market

From October 2018 to May 2019 , 439,000 applicants registered for an apprenticeship at an unemployment office or a job center: 17,000 less than in the previous year. From these, in  May ,  200,000 were still looking for a placement. At the same time, 512,000 apprenticeship training positions were registered: 17,000 more than the year before. Of these,  266,000 apprenticeships were vacant in  May . Training places have been most frequently reported to prospective retailers, office management merchants, and sales assistants. As in previous years, in 2018 / 19 there are regional, occupational and qualifying disparities, also, which make the balancing of supply and demand considerably more difficult.

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