Annual review 2022 – Stable labour market despite pressure through Russian war of aggression

03 Jan 2023 | Press release no.2

“During the past year, the consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine - soaring prices, uncertainties, but also forced migration - clearly left their mark on the German labour market. However, in the light of the extent of this pressure, they are at a moderate level,” said Andrea Nahles, Chairwoman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), on the occasion of the monthly press conference in Nuremberg today.

Average unemployment rate of 2022:    
Change compared with 2021:  
Average annual unemployment rate compared with the previous year:    
-0.4 percentage points to 5.3 percent

Unemployment and underemployment dropped clearly despite the war against Ukraine

In 2022, unemployment and underemployment fell noticeably in terms of the annual average. In this respect, in comparison with the previous year, the number of unemployed persons in Germany fell by 195,000 to 2,418,000 people. 
Underemployment, which also includes persons on state-supported training and employment programmes, and persons who have a short-term incapacity to work, also decreased. On an annual average, underemployment amounted to 3,186,000, i.e. 181,000 less than in 2021.
In this context, the decreases are based on the favourable development of the previous year and the first half of 2022. From mid-year onwards, the recording of refugees from Ukraine largely contributed to the increase in unemployment and underemployment.

Take-up of short-time work is significantly lower than in 2021

The labour market was supported through the use of short-time work in 2022 as well, although its take-up fell significantly compared with the years 2020 and 2021 which were strongly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the take-up being higher again as a result of the energy crisis in the second half of the year, the estimated annual average value is still higher than in 2019, the year before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 
The statistics of the Federal Employment Agency estimate that the total annual average number of short-time workers in 2022 will be approximately 430,000, compared to 1.85 million in 2021. 
With an average loss of working hours of roughly 37 percent, the use of short-time work is calculated to have secured the jobs of approximately 160,000 employed persons and prevented their (temporary) unemployment. 

Employment with social security contributions increases significantly

According to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office, in 2022, the annual average employment (according to the domestic concept) increased by 589,000 people to 45.57 million. 
According to the statistics of the Federal Employment Agency, compared with the previous year, employment with social security contributions increased by 643,000 from June 2021 to June 2022 to 34.45 million. It is therefore 1,04 million higher than in the corresponding pre-crisis month of June 2019. 
Marginal employment also showed an increase in comparison with the previous year. Compared with the same month of the previous year, in June 2022, it increased by 198,000 to 7.36 million employees. This increase is largely due to side job employments.

Demand for labour on relatively high level

In 2022, the reported demand for new employees was very high despite huge economic and political uncertainties as a result of the war against Ukraine. However, in the second half of the year, it fell noticeably. 
With 845,000 registered jobs on average in 2022, the demand for labour exceeded the demand in 2021 by 139,000.