The labour market in September 2019

robust development despite weak economy

30 Sep 2019 | Press Release No. 31

“The economic downturn continued to be reflected by the labour market in September. However, the labour market still appears to be generally robust. There was a reduction in unemployment and underemployment in September. Employment continues to grow but is losing momentum, and corporate demand for new employees declined once more at a high level”, said the CEO of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Detlef Scheele, at today’s monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment rate in September:                  -85,000 – now 2,234,000

Unemployment compared to last year:           -22,000

Unemployment compared to last month:       -0.2 percentage points – now 4.9%


Unemployment and underemployment

Following the usual autumn upturn, unemployment fell by 85,000 to 2,234,000 from August to September, and the unemployment rate sank by 0.2 percentage points to 4.9%. If these figures are adjusted to account for seasonal factors, a decrease of 10,000 unemployed persons can be calculated for September compared to last month. This development is solely due to the development in the area of basic security benefits. There were further seasonally adjusted increases in unemployment insurance, which reflects the current state of the economy. 22,000 fewer persons were registered as unemployed compared to last year, and the unemployment rate has decreased by 0.1 percentage point in the same period. The short-term unemployment rate stood at 3.2% in July, as calculated by the Federal Statistical Office according to the ILO short-term employment concept.

If seasonal factors are taken into account, there has also been a slight decrease of 4,000 compared to last month with regard to the underemployment rate, which also considers changes in labour market policy and short-term incapacity to work. A total of 3,152,000 persons were underemployed in September 2019 – 19,000 fewer than a year ago.


Short-term employment and employment subject to national insurance payments

There has been a further increase in short-term employment and employment subject to national insurance payments, but not as strongly as last year. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of persons in employment (in line with the domestic concept) in August rose by 10,000 compared to the previous month if the figures are adjusted to account for seasonal factors. There are now 45.30 million persons in employment – 333,000 more than last year. This development is being driven by a rise in employment subject to national insurance payments – 510,000 more than last year. According to the extrapolated figures of the BA, a total of 33.35 million persons were in employment subject to national insurance payments in July. If these figures are adjusted to account for seasonal factors, this constitutes a rise of 46,000 persons from June to July.


Labour demand

There is a high demand for new employees, but this continues to decrease. 787,000 jobs were registered with the BA in September – 47,000 fewer than last year. If these figures are adjusted to account for seasonal factors, the amount of jobs registered with the BA has dropped by 9,000. The BA job index (BA‑X), an indicator of the labour demand in Germany, fell by 3 points to 238 points in September 2019. This puts it 19 points below the level recorded last year.


Cash benefits

731,000 persons received unemployment benefits in September 2019 – 64,000 more than a year ago. In September, there were 3,839,000 persons who were fit to work and eligible to receive basic security benefits for job seekers (German Social Security Code II). This represents a decrease of 219,000 persons compared to September 2018; 7.0% of the people of working age living in Germany were in need of help.


The complete monthly report is available online at .


You can find more information in the media centre of the Federal Employment Agency.


Follow the Federal Employment Agency on Twitter .