The Labour market in September 2022

Situation still stable overall, despite the difficult environment

30 Sep 2022 | Press release no.41

“The labour market continues to be stable overall despite rising prices and fears of energy scarcity. Unemployment and underemployment fell at the start of the autumn revival. However, the demand for labour is dropping slightly at a very high level,” said Andrea Nahles, Chairwoman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), on the occasion of the monthly press conference in Nuremberg today.

Unemployment rate in September:
-62,000 to 2,486,000

Unemployment rate compared with previous year: 

Unemployment rate compared with previous month: 
-0.2 percentage points to 5.4 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and economic inactivity

In the course of the incipient autumn revival, unemployment went down in September 2022 compared to the previous month by as much as 62,000 persons to 2,486,000. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of unemployed persons increased by 14,000. Compared with September last year, the number of unemployed persons is 21,000 higher. The rises also have to do with the registration of the unemployed Ukrainian refugees. Without including people with Ukrainian nationality in the statistics, the development would have been considerably better. From August to September, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.4 percent, making it unchanged compared with the same month last year. In August, the unemployment rate determined according to the ILO employment concept by the Federal Statistical Office was 3.0 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, underemployment, which, in addition to unemployment, takes changes in labour market policy and short-term incapacity to work into account, increased by 26,000 compared with the previous month. This can be accounted for by the increasing participation of Ukrainian refugees in integration courses. In September 2022, underemployment amounted to 3,251,000 people. That is 51,000 more 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 26th September inclusive, cyclical short-time work was registered for 44,000 people.

The latest data on the actual take-up is available up to July 2022. According to the initially projected data from the Federal Employment Agency, in that month, the cyclical short-time allowance was paid to 99,000 workers. The take-up of cyclical short-time work therefore continued to fall.

Economic activity and employment

An upward trend continues to be observed in economic activity and employment subject to social security contributions, though this is currently weakening. According to the Federal Statistical Office, in August 2022, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of economically active persons (according to the inland concept) increased by 4,000 compared with the previous month. At 45.60 million persons, it was 501,000 higher than in the previous year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, from June to July 2022, employment with social security contributions increased by 16,000. Compared with the previous year, in July, this increased by 598,000 to 34.33 million employees, according to the projections of the BA. In July 2022, 7.36 million people were in low-paid “mini job” employment, 140,000 more than in the same month last year. Of this total, for 4.18 million people, this low-paid employment was their only job, and for 3.18 million it was a just part-time position. The increase in comparison with the previous year is exclusively due to those employed in part-time jobs for low wages.

The demand for labour

The demand for new personnel decreased noticeably in September, but is still at a high level. In this context, 873,000 job vacancies were registered with the BA, 74,000 more than one year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of jobs registered with the BA decreased by 11,000 compared with the previous month. In September 2022, the Jobs Index of the BA (BA‑X) – an indicator of the demand for staff in Germany – went down by 2 points to 132 points. 

Cash benefits for unemployment and required assistance

In September 2022, 698,000 people received unemployment benefit, 51,000 fewer than a year ago. In September, the number of persons able to work and entitled to benefits in terms of the Basic Support for Job Seekers (SGB II) was 3,809,000. In comparison with September 2021, this was an increase of 110,000 people. Therefore, 7.0 percent of people of working age living in Germany were in need of support.