The labour market in April 2022

The recovery continues, despite the war in Ukraine

03 May 2022 | Press release no.19

“With the spring revival and the easing of the measures to contain the coronavirus, the labour market is continuing to recover. The development is being hampered due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, though,” said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), on the occasion of the monthly press conference in Nuremberg today.

Unemployment rate in April:
-53,000 to 2,309,000

Unemployment rate compared with the previous year:

Unemployment rate compared with the previous month:
-0.1 percentage points to 5.0 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and economic inactivity

In April 2022, the spring revival saw the rate of unemployment fall in comparison with the previous month – by 53,000 to 2,309,000. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, unemployment fell by 13,000. Compared with April last year, it is 462,000 lower. From March to April, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 5.0 percent, which means it is 1 percentage point lower than it was in the same month last year. In March, the unemployment rate, as determined according to the ILO employment concept by the Federal Statistical Office, was 2.9 per cent.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, underemployment, which also takes changes in labour market policy and short-term incapacity to work into account, fell by 14,000 compared with the previous month. In April 2022, it amounted to 3,060,000 people. That is 471,000 fewer than a year ago.

Short-time work

Before the start of short-time work, companies are required to submit a notification of the expected loss of work. According to the current data on the verified notifications, from 1st to 27th April inclusive, cyclical short-time work was registered for 120,000 people.

The latest data on the actual take-up is available for February 2022. According to the initially projected data from the Federal Employment Agency, in that month, the cyclical short-time allowance was paid to 723,000 workers.

This means that both the use of cyclical short-time work as well as the number of persons for whom short-time work has been reported have recently fallen.

Economic activity and employment

Economic activity and employment with social security contributions continue to rise. According to the Federal Statistical Office, in March 2022, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the number of economically active persons (according to the domestic concept) rose by 87,000 compared with the previous month. At 45.24 million persons, it was 735,000 higher than in the previous year. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, from January to February 2022, employment with social security contributions increased by 77,000. Compared with the previous year, in February, this increased by 720,000 to 34.24 million employees, according to the projections of the BA. In February 2022, 7.12 million people were in low-paid “mini job” employment, 257,000 more than in the same month last year. Of this total, for 4.04 million people, this low-paid employment was their only job, and for 3.08 million it was a just part-time position. The increase in comparison with the previous year is largely due to those employed in part-time jobs for low wages.

The demand for labour

The demand for new staff is at a high level in April. In this context, 852,000 job vacancies were registered with the BA, 223,000 more than one year ago. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the amount of jobs registered with the BA increased by 10,000. In April 2022, the Jobs Index of the BA (BA‑X) – an indicator of the demand for staff in Germany – rose by 2 points to 138 points.

Cash benefits

In April 2022, 715,000 people received unemployment benefit, 212,000 fewer than a year ago. In April, the number of persons able to work and entitled to benefits in terms of the Basic Support for Job Seekers (SGB II) was 3,563,000. In comparison with April 2021, this was a fall of 359,000 people. Therefore, 6.6 percent of people of working age living in Germany were in need of support.

Market for apprenticeships

From October 2021 to April 2022, 339,000 applicants registered for an apprenticeship position at the agencies for employment and job centres. That is 6,000 fewer than a year ago. Of this total, 182,000 young people remained yet to find an apprenticeship position or an alternative in April. At the same time, 466,000 apprenticeship positions were registered with the BA, 33,000 more than a year ago. 291,000 of these remained unfilled. The market for apprenticeships is traditionally very busy in April, though. Therefore, these figures only allow for a preliminary assessment of the developments during the course of the current reporting year.