Most stores have been closed in Germany since December 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since November 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers. Industry has not been directly affected by lockdown measures.(AFP)
Most stores have been closed in Germany since December 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since November 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers. Industry has not been directly affected by lockdown measures.(AFP)

German unemployment still largely steady despite lockdown

In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment remained at 6 per cent, though 9,000 more people were out of work than in January, the Federal Labour Agency said.
PTI |
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:27 PM IST

German unemployment still largely steady despite lockdown German unemployment held more or less steady in February despite the impact of lockdown measures, according to official data released Tuesday.

Extensive use of a short-term salary support program is still keeping the figures in check.

The unadjusted jobless rate, the headline figure in Germany, was unchanged from January at 6.3 per cent. Just over 2.9 million people were registered as unemployed in the nation of 83 million — 4,000 more than the previous month and 509,000 more than a year earlier.

Also read: Covid-19 lockdown extended till March 28 in Germany as cases surge: Report

In seasonally adjusted terms, unemployment remained at 6 per cent, though 9,000 more people were out of work than in January, the Federal Labour Agency said.

While that was the first increase in seasonally adjusted unemployment in February since 2014, it was “probably more the result of the harsh winter weather in February than the lockdowns,” ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.

Most stores have been closed in Germany since December 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since November 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers. Industry has not been directly affected by lockdown measures.

Many elementary students returned to school last week and hairdressers reopened Monday. On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country's 16 state governors will confer on how to move forward.

Rises in unemployment in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, and elsewhere on the continent have been moderate by international standards. That is because employers are making heavy use of salary support programs, often referred to as furlough schemes, which allow them to keep employees on the payroll while they await better times.

In Germany, the labour agency pays at least 60% of the salary of employees who are on reduced or zero hours.

The labour agency said it paid support for 2.39 million people in December, the most recent month it has figures for. That was up slightly from 2.38 million in November and 2.01 million in October, but still far below a peak of nearly 6 million last April.

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