Labor market defies economic pessimism

Labor market defies economic pessimism

Although the number of unemployed was 39,000 higher than in june for seasonal reasons, it was 43,000 lower than a year ago, the federal employment agency (BA) reported. The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 points to 6.6 percent in july. Without the seasonal effects, which were usually more pronounced in july, the number of unemployed would have fallen by 12,000.

BA head frank-jurgen weise expressed satisfaction: "the labor market is stable overall."He blamed the slight increase in july solely on seasonal factors. On the one hand, many companies postponed hiring until the fall during the vacation months. On the other hand, significantly more young people than usual registered as temporarily unemployed after completing school or vocational training. "In the fall, youth unemployment will again decline significantly."

For the second half of the year, weise does not expect any improvement on the labor market, "but also no deterioration. In his opinion, the escalating conflict between the west and russia in the wake of the ukraine crisis could not change this. He is well aware that this crisis is unsettling export-oriented companies in particular, said weise – for example, mechanical engineering, but now also consumer-oriented sectors. "But i don’t see that this is already having an impact on the labor market."

Finally, there are also "countermovements" that "balance out" the consequences of the international crises. In july, for example, there were almost half a million job vacancies. Many companies continued to look for skilled workers.

Weise is convinced that the number of short-time workers also shows how small the impact on the labor market is at present. Short-time work is usually the first instrument companies use when weak exports lead to a sudden drop in orders. "And short-time work remains at a very low level," the head of the federal agency stressed. At the same time, he warned against what he considered to be unfounded crisis scenarios: "we must be careful not to add in effects that affect us emotionally (in connection with the international crises)."

"Labor minister andrea nahles (SPD) also sees the labor market as "stable and in good shape. She was particularly pleased with the positive development in employment subject to social insurance contributions: according to a BA projection, there were 29.72 million jobs in may, around 442,000 more than a year ago. The number of employed persons grew year-on-year by 377,000 to 42.24 million in june.

The german federation of trade unions (DGB), on the other hand, believes that the situation is "not as stable as the current unemployment figures suggest. Negotiations on layoffs are now underway in several industrial sectors, said DGB executive board member annelie buntenbach in berlin. What is important now is that in this situation the potential of skilled workers is maintained and that employees are not forced into underqualified or even precarious work.

Dissatisfied also left and green in the bundestag auberten. The federal government and the federal agency could not be satisfied with a stable labor market situation, explained matthias hohn, federal managing director of the left-wing party. "Stable – unchanged solid and unchanged high – is also the number of long-term unemployed," he criticized in a release. Green politician brigitte pothmer also calls for more training for the long-term unemployed and older job seekers. Because both groups run the risk of being "permanently cut off from the labor market.

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