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The labour market in October 2018

Unemployment and underemployment continue to decline
30 Oct 2018 | Press Release No. 28

"Unemployment and underemployment continue to decline in October. The growth in employment subject to social insurance contributions is continuing and the demand for labour by companies is stabilising at a very high level," said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), today at the monthly press conference in Nuremberg.

Unemployment rate in October:
-53,000 to 2,204,000

Unemployment figures compared to the previous year:
- 185,000

The unemployment rate compared to the previous month:
-0.1 percent points to 4.9 percent

Unemployment, underemployment and inactivity

In the wake of the continuing autumn recovery, unemployment fell by 53,000 from September to October to 2,204,000. Adjusted for seasonal influences, a decline of 11,000 compared with the previous month is calculated for October. Compared to the previous year, 185,000 fewer people were registered as unemployed.

Underemployment, which also takes account of people in relieving labour market policy measures and short-term incapacity to work, has fallen by 9,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the previous month. In total, underemployment in October 2018 amountedto 3,142,000 persons. That was 223,000 less than a year ago.

The unemployment rate determined by the Federal Statistical Office according to the ILO acquisition concept amounted to 1.43 million and the unemployment rate to 3.3 percent in September.

Gainful employment and employment subject to social insurance contributions

Employment and employment subject to social insurance contributions have continued to rise. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of people in employment (according to the domestic concept) increased by 39,000 in September on seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous month. At 45.18 million persons, it was 561,000 higher than in the previous year. The increase is largely due to the increase in employment subject to social insurance contributions. This increased by 715,000 compared to the previous year. According to extrapolated BA figures, 33.11 million people were employed in August subject to social insurance contributions. Seasonally adjusted, there is an increase of 56,000 from July to August.

Labour Demand

Demand for labour is stabilising at a very high level. In October, 824,000 jobs were registered with the BA, 44,000 more than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs registered with the BA decreased by 6,000. The BA job index (BA-X) - an indicator of demand for labour in Germany - fell by 4 points to 252 points in October 2018. The previous year's value is exceeded by 6 points.

Cash Payments

A total of 654,000 people received unemployment benefits in October 2018, 14,000 fewer than a year ago. In October, the number of employable beneficiaries in the basic pension scheme for job seekers (SGB II) was 4,040,000. Compared to October 2017, this was a decrease of 254,000 persons. 7.4 percent of the working-age living in Germany were, therefore, in need of help.