Labour market in January 2022

Despite mitigation measures still on path to recovery

01 Feb 2022 | Press release no.6

“The labour market has got off to a good start in 2022. Although the number of unemployed people rose in January, the increase isn’t nearly as high as is usually the case,” said Daniel Terzenbach, Regional Chair of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), at today’s monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment figures in January:
+133,000 to 2,462,000

Unemployment figures compared with previous year:

Unemployment rate compared with previous month:
+0.3 percent to 5.4 percent

Employment, underemployment and redundancies

The unemployment figures rose in January 2022 by 133,000 to 2,462,000 compared with the previous month in view of the winter break, indicating a much smaller increase than in the previous years. Seasonally adjusted, this meant a drop in unemployment of 48,000. Compared with January of last year, the figure fell by 439,000. Compared with January 2020, unemployment is a mere 37,000 higher. The unemployment rate rose from December 2021 to January 2022 by 0.3 percent to 5.4 percent, and was thus 0.9 percent lower than in January 2021. In December, the unemployment rate determined by the Federal Statistical Office according to the ILO’s labour concept was 2.9 percent.

Seasonally adjusted, the number of underemployed, when taking into account changes in labour market policies and short-term incapacity for work, fell in comparison with the previous month by 36,000. In January 2022, the figure was 3,190,000, 452,000 fewer than a year ago, and 104,000 fewer than in January 2020.

Short time

Before the start of short-time work, plants must announce their decision concerning expected work losses. According to current data on examined announcements, from 1 to 26 January inclusively, cyclical short-term announcements were made for 286,000 persons. This means that in December and January, the figure again rose

sharply, mainly due to job adverts in the hospitality industry and in trade.

Current figures on actual use of the measures are available up until November 2021. According to preliminarily extrapolated BA figures, cyclical short-term allowances were granted to 574,000 employees this month, showing a further drop in claims up until November.

Employment and jobs

Employment and jobs subject to social security contributions are on the increase. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of employed persons (according to the domestic concept) rose, seasonally adjusted, by 52,000 in December 2021 compared with the previous month. At 45.34 million persons, the number was 506,000 higher than in the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, there was an increase in jobs subject to social security contributions from October to November 2021 of 84,000. Compared with the previous year, the number rose by 552,000 to 34.45 million, according to BA predictions. The marginally employed recovered further following the measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, they numbered 7.29 million, 202,000 more than in the month before. Seasonally adjusted, this was a slight drop of 7,000 compared with the previous month.

Labour demand

In January, the demand for new staff remained high. 792,000 jobs were registered at the BA, 225,000 more than the previous year. After seasonal adjustments, the number of jobs registered at the BA rose by 22,000. The BA Job Index (BA‑X), an indicator of demand for manpower in Germany, rose in January 2022 by 3 percent to 135 percentage points, reaching a new all-time high.

Unemployment benefits

In January 2022, 811,000 persons received unemployment benefits, 337,000 fewer than the year before. In January, the number of employable beneficiaries receiving basic provision for jobseekers (SGB II) was 3,611,000; compared with January 2021, a decrease of 176,000 persons. This shows that in Germany, 6.7 percent of the employable population was dependent on help.

Labour market

From October to January, in the post-placement period for immediate training positions in the labour market, 67,000 young persons were seeking apprenticeships, some 10,000 fewer than in the year before. In contrast, there were 77,000 registered company training positions, 5,000 more than in the previous year. In January 2022, 27,000 applicants were still without a position, and despite the existence of alternatives, a further 21,000 were still seeking an apprenticeship. At the same time, there were almost 14,000 unoccupied training positions. At the end of the post-placement period, 13,000 applicants were training for a job.

In the new reporting period of 2021/22, 5 percent fewer applicants have so far registered than the January before, with the number of training positions increasing by 7 percent compared with the previous year.