The labour market in September 2021

Good development continues

30 Sep 2021 | Press release no.32

“The labour market is continuing its positive development. Unemployment and underemployment are declining sharply. Employment and the number of jobs are growing and are once again above the pre-crisis level. At the same time, the number of short-time workers is falling significantly,” said the Director, Regions of the Federal Employment Agency, Daniel Terzenbach, today at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment figure in September:

-114,000 to 2,465,000

Unemployment figure in comparison with the previous year:


Unemployment rate in comparison with the previous month:

-0.2 percentage points to 5.4 %

<! [if gte mso 9]>Normal021falsefalsefalseDEX-NONEX-NONE<![endif] ><! [if gte mso 9]><![endif] ><! [if gte mso 10]><![endif] &gt;</h3><h3>Unemployment and underemployment</h3><p>In the course of the autumn revival, the number of people who are unemployed declined in September 2021 in comparison with the previous month, specifically by 114,000 to 2,465,000. Adjusted for the season, it fell by 30,000. It is 382,000 lower than in September of the previous year. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 %, 0.8 percentage points lower than in September 2020. The level of unemployment might still be 232,000 unemployed people or 0.5 percentage points, with regard to the unemployment rate, higher as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The unemployment rate determined by the Federal Statistical Office in accordance with the ILO Employment Concept was 3.6 % in August.</p><p>Underemployment, which also takes changes in the labour market policy and temporary incapacity for work into consideration, was at 3,233,000 people in September. This was 393,000 fewer than a year ago.</p><h3>Short-time work</h3><p>Before the start of short-time work, businesses must file a report about the anticipated loss of working time. According to the latest data on the verified reports, cyclical short-time work was announced for 70,000 people from 1st to 26th September inclusive.</p><p>Current data on the actual utilisation of this is available up to July 2021. According to the provisional projected data of the Federal Employment Agency, a cyclical short-time working allowance was paid for 927,000 employees in this month. Thus, the utilisation of short-time work is continuing to decline. In April 2020, it reached its peak at just under 6 million.</p><h3>Gainful employment and employment</h3><p>Gainful employment and employment that is subject to social security contributions are continuing to show an upward trend. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of gainfully employed people (on the basis of the domestic concept) rose by 66,000, adjusted for the season, in August 2021 in comparison with the previous month. At 45.05 million people, it was 328,000 higher than in the previous year. Employment that is subject to social security contributions increased by 32,000, adjusted for the season, from June to July. In comparison with the previous year, employment that is subject to social security contributions rose by 481,000, to 33.71 million employees in July, according to the Federal Employment Agency’s projections. Low-paid employment is also recovering from the measures taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic. In July, this figure was 7.20 million people. Adjusted for the season, this means a perceptible increase of 57,000 in comparison with the previous month.</p><h3>Demand for labour</h3><p>The demand for new labour continued its upward trend in September. 799,000 vacancies were registered with the Federal Employment Agency, 209,000 more than one year ago. Adjusted for the season, the number of vacancies registered with the Federal Employment Agency increased by 18,000. The Federal Employment Agency labour market index (BA‑X) – an indicator for the demand for labour in Germany – rose in September 2021 by 1 point to 124 points. This means that it is 30 points above the value of September 2020. The BA-X also exceeds the value of March 2020, i.e. the last reporting month before the effects of the pandemic measures became visible on the labour market.</p><h3>Cash benefits</h3><p>740,000 people received unemployment benefit in September 2021, 353,000 fewer than a year ago. The number of employable people entitled to benefits in the basic support for jobseekers (Second Book of the German Social Code – SGB II) was 3,734,000 in September. This was a decline of 170,000 people in comparison with September 2020. This means that 6.8 % of the people of employable age living in Germany were in need of help.</p>