The labor market is slowly shaking off the effects of corona

Nuremberg (dpa) – Thanks to a strong autumn recovery, the German labor market is gradually shaking off the consequences of the corona pandemic.

Only about 200. 000 of September 2. 465. 000 Unemployed people are due to the crisis, said the board member of the Federal Employment Agency, Daniel Terzenbach. The comparative number had already been at 650. 000.

Terzenbach pointed out, however, that the crisis has changed the labor market. The number of long-term unemployed – especially older people with less education – has risen sharply. At just over a million, it is 40 percent above the pre-crisis level. In contrast, youth unemployment is lower than it has ever been since reunification. “The recovery process is considerable, but not all of them to the same extent,” said Terzenbach.

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) emphasized that the overall trend was promising. However, long-term unemployment needs special attention. The effects of the pandemic were particularly evident there.

114. 000 Unemployed fewer

Compared to August, the number of unemployed fell in September by 114. 000 – a drop this month is common because of the end of summer vacation, the start of apprenticeships, and several other seasonal factors. “The decline this year is more pronounced than usual in previous years,” said Terzenbach. The reason is that after the end of many Corona restrictions, catch-up processes were set in motion.

The number of people without a job in September was around 382. 000 lower than in September 2020 – at that time the consequences of the pandemic were even more noticeable. The rate has fallen since August by 0.2 points to 5.4 percent. Compared to September 2019 – before the start of the corona pandemic – it was 0.5 percentage points lower, at 4.9 percent.

Seasonally adjusted the number of unemployed in September by 30. 000 went down, the Federal Agency announced. The September statistics included data up to 000. September had been raised.

Trend continues

In September, a trend continued on the German labor market that was already observed in the summer months of July and August: the end of the Corona -Lockdowns lead to some typical seasonal stimulation effects. The number of reported vacancies increased again in September – to 799. 000, that is 209. 000 more than a year ago – and also more than before the start of the Corona crisis, as Terzenbach explained. “We can see that the high demand for employees has fully picked up,” he said.

In some industries – from craft to health care to gastronomy – a blatant shortage of skilled workers is already noticeable, which will be exacerbated by the transformation of industry – less qualified jobs are needed less, but there is a shortage of better qualified people. In order to close this gap, domestic resources would have to be exhausted – for example in the qualification of the unemployed and low-skilled workers, demanded the labor market expert.

In addition, there must be increased immigration. “As a society we have to accept that we have to advertise for it,” he also said to a new federal government. Visa processes would have to be simplified, language training intensified and the recognition of professional qualifications accelerated.

He also demanded more financial incentives from a new federal government for retraining and qualification of the long-term unemployed as well as less regulation when dealing with Hartz- IV recipients. Currently, almost as many people are tied up to calculate the amount of unemployment benefit as in the placement of the unemployed. “Reclaiming amounts of 1, 60 Euro no longer corresponds to social reality 2021,” said Terzenbach.

The Federal Agency also reports relaxation with regard to short-time work. From 1st to 26. September were advertisements for short-time work for 70. 000 people received – Corona is no longer the main reason, but rather the supply bottlenecks in the industry. Data on how much short-time work was actually used is available to the Federal Agency by July. This month, short-time allowance was paid for 927. people. At the peak of the corona pandemic in April 2020 there were almost six million. “We are assuming that there will be significant withdrawals in the next few months,” emphasized Terzenbach.

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