Labour Market in August 2019 – Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rises Slightly

"The weak economic phase has even started to impact the labour market. All in all, however, it is still going strong. Unemployment and underemployment have increased in August. While employment growth continues, it is losing momentum, and corporate demand for new employees is falling again at a significant rate," said Detlef Scheele, CEO of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA), at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg today.

29 Aug 2019 | Press Release No. 27


Unemployment figures in August:                           +44,000 to 2,319,000

Unemployment figures compared to the                 -31,000
previous year:

Unemployment rate compared to previous            +0.1 percentage points to 5.1 percent


Unemployment, underemployment and inactivity

During the summer break, unemployment rose from July to August by 44,000 to 2,319,000. Adjusted for seasonal influences, a slight increase of 4,000 compared to the previous month is projected for August. This increase is solely attributable to the development in unemployment insurance as a result of the economic slowdown. Compared with the previous year, 31,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed. The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to 5.1 per cent. Compared with August last year, it fell by 0.1 percentage points. The unemployment rate determined by the Federal Statistical Office according to the ILO acquisition concept amounted to 3.1 per cent in July.

Underemployment, which also takes into account changes in labour market policy and short-term incapacity to work, also rose slightly by 3,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the previous month. Overall, underemployment in August 2019 amounted to 3,203,000 persons. That was 29,000 fewer than a year ago.


Gainful employment and employment subject to social insurance contributions

Gainful employment and employment subject to social security contributions have continued to rise, albeit not as strongly as last year. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of employed persons (according to the domestic concept) increased by 14,000 in July, seasonally adjusted compared to the previous month. At 45.29 million, it was 374,000 higher than in the previous year. The increase is largely due to the increase in employment subject to social insurance contributions. This increased by 515,000 compared to the previous year. According to extrapolated BA figures, a total of 33.39 million people were employed subject to social insurance contributions in June. Seasonally adjusted, there was an increase of 11,000 from May to June.


Labour demand

The demand for new employees is at a high level, but continues to decline. In August, 795,000 jobs were registered with the BA, 33,000 fewer than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs registered with the BA decreased by 8,000. The BA job index (BA‑X) – an indicator of demand for workers in Germany – fell by 1 point to 242 points in August 2019. This is 10 points below the previous year's figure.


Cash benefits

753,000 people received unemployment benefits in August 2019, 50,000 more than a year ago. In August, the number of employable beneficiaries in the basic pension scheme for job seekers (SGB II) was 3,890,000. Compared to August 2018, this was a decrease of 214,000 persons. 7.1 per cent of people of working age living in Germany were thus in need of help.


Training market

From October 2018 to August 2019, 497,000 applicants registered for a training place at the employment agencies and the job centres, 24,000 fewer than in the same period of the previous year. Of these, 134,000 were still seeking gainful employment in August. At the same time, 556,000 training places were registered, 8,000 more than a year ago. Of these, 157,000 training places were still vacant in August. Most of the unfilled training places were registered in trade and sales in August 2019. There are also good chances of finding a training place in the hotel and catering and construction industries, and in many other trades besides such as butchery, bakery, electrical, sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology, ophthalmic optics, hearing aid acoustics, warehousing and logistics. Experience has shown that in the coming weeks, many applicants who have not been provided for so far will still be able to find training or an alternative and training positions will still be filled. As in previous years, however, regional, vocational and qualification disparities will also become apparent in 2018/19, making it considerably more difficult to balance supply and demand.



The detailed monthly report can be found on the internet at


Further information can be found in the media service of the Federal Employment Agency.


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