Even the experts hadn’t counted on this to this extent. Because apparently the coronavirus hits the economy and the job market even harder than expected. The Federal Employment Agency announced this morning that 10.1 million people are currently on short-time work and around 308,000 people have lost their jobs so far.

With the figures published today, the Federal Employment Agency has far exceeded the experts’ fears.

Yesterday, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) had expected around three million short-time workers. Many experts had estimated the number of short-time workers to be around 3 to 7 million. The 10.1 million short-time workers now announced are an absolute record for Germany. Even DGB chairwoman Annelie Buntenbach spoke of “exorbitant numbers”. This far exceeded the previous record for short-time work. In May 2009, 1.44 million people had been on short-time work. In the year 2009, which was plagued by the crisis, around 3.3 million people had been on short-time work for a limited period throughout the year.

And, of course, the corona virus crisis has also led to an unusually large increase in unemployment. Compared to March 2023, the number of unemployed rose by 308,000 to now 2.64 million. This means that the unemployment rate, which is completely untypical for the season, rose by 0.7% to now 5.8%. Buntenbach summarized that those with mini-jobs, temporary workers, workers with fixed-term contracts and workers with low wages were particularly affected by the layoffs. The head of the employment agency, Detlef Scheele, also stated that the demand for new employees had collapsed.

“The corona crisis is likely to lead to the worst recession in Germany after the war. This will put the job market under a lot of pressure, ”continued Scheele. Unemployment rose for the first time in the post-war period in April, as otherwise the spring recovery in the German labor market always started around this time.


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