Zoom Image

Employment Agency: Hardly any spring revival

Photo: Oliver Berg / dpa

There is little sign of a significant spring revival on the labour market. The number of unemployed in Germany fell to 2.544 million in May. That was 42,000 fewer than in April, but 284,000 more than a year ago, according to the Federal Employment Agency. The rate fell by 0.2 points to 5.5 percent in May.

"Despite the weak economy, the labor market is stable overall," said the board of the Federal Employment Agency, Daniel Terzenbach. "Employment growth continues, but is losing momentum." Unemployment and underemployment - where people are included in measures such as integration courses - have decreased, but less than usual for a May.

Usually, unemployment falls in the spring because companies are looking for more workers again after the winter. However, the spring revival depends, among other things, on the economic situation and the weather - and thus varies from year to year.

Adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, the number of unemployed rose by 9000 month-on-month, according to the BA.

In May, 767,000 jobs were registered with the BA, 98,000 fewer than a year ago. According to the BA, the reported demand for labour has been declining steadily for a year now. Overall, however, the number of registered jobs is still at a comparatively high level.

Short-time work increased slightly: from 1 to 24 May, companies reported cyclical short-time work for 45,000 employees. Experience has shown that the number of those who actually go into short-time work is lower. Current data on how many people claimed short-time allowance are available up to March: In that month, there were 133,000 employees, up from 140,000 in February.

The German economy slipped into recession at the beginning of the year because consumers consumed less due to falling purchasing power as a result of high inflation. Many economists now believe that Europe's largest economy could also shrink in 2023 as a whole.