Unemployment in Germany continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate

Unemployment in Germany continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate

The number of unemployed workers in Germany continued to rise over the past month, albeit at a slower rate, with 40.000 more people out of work by the end of June 2020. The number of people signed up to the Kurzarbeit scheme has reached record levels.

Unemployment in Germany continues to rise

As Germany is still suffering from the effects of the coronavirus crisis, with unemployment continuing to rise. The Federal Employment Agency announced on Wednesday that 2,853 million people were out of a job in June.

This amounts to an increase of 40.000 from May and 637.000 over the past year. The rate of unemployment rose by 0,1 percent in June, taking the unemployment rate to 6,2 percent. The rise in unemployment has, however, slowed down somewhat: in May the number of unemployed rose by 169.000 compared to April. 

The number of people receiving Hartz IV benefits has also risen. 4,076 million individuals claimed the benefit in June 2020, 152.000 more than in June 2019. According to the Federal Employment Agency, 7,5 percent of working-age people needed help in June.

Record number of Kurzarbeit workers

These figures do not take into account the record number of people who have been placed on Kurzarbeit, the government financial support scheme that replaces lost earnings for workers who have temporarily been put on reduced working hours. 

In total, companies in Germany have now applied for Kurzarbeit for more than 12 million people, as a result of the coronavirus crisis. In addition to the 11,8 million registered in March, April and May, 342.000 people were added to the scheme in June - individuals who otherwise might have been made redundant

“The labour market is still under pressure because of the Corona crisis,” said Detlef Scheele, chief executive of the Federal Employment Agency. “However, the massive use of Kurzarbeit stabilises the labour market.”

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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