How many people have lost their jobs

2.8 million people without a job : Every fourth new unemployed person comes from Berlin

The corona crisis is causing the number of unemployed to continue to rise. Short-time working has reached a record level. More and more people need Hartz IV. How dramatic is the work situation for people? And what would happen if the number of infections rose significantly again?

How many people have since lost their jobs?

The number of unemployed in Germany has risen again due to the consequences of the Corona crisis. In June, 2.85 million people were unemployed, 40,000 more than in May and 637,000 more than a year ago, as the Federal Employment Agency announced in Nuremberg on Wednesday. The unemployment rate rose slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent. Compared to May, there was a comparatively moderate increase.

The situation is particularly dramatic in Berlin, where the number of unemployed rose to 209,360 in June. That was 8,719 men and women more than in May and 56,745 more than in June last year, as the regional directorate of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) announced on Wednesday. Of the around 40,000 newly registered unemployed in Germany, almost one in four is from Berlin. "The job market in June, when unemployment is usually falling, is still under pressure, especially in Berlin," said the head of the Berlin-Brandenburg regional directorate, Bernd Becking .

A total of 638,000 people became unemployed as a result of the Corona crisis between April and June. “That means every fifth person in this period is, so to speak, owed to the corona pandemic,” said BA CEO Detlef Scheele when presenting the June statistics. More and more people are also dependent on Hartz IV. The number of those affected was 4.1 million in June, 152,000 more than in June 2019. According to the Federal Agency, 7.5 percent of people of working age were dependent on government aid in June.

In the opinion of economists, the 3 million unemployment mark could be reached or easily exceeded in the summer. Scheele doesn't think so. And what comes in winter depends on many imponderables, including the question of whether there will be another virus wave in autumn. He says: “If there is no second wave, if the easing, especially in tourism and gastronomy, takes hold over the summer, if the mood of consumers changes, if we know what changes in behavior the pandemic has in general, when traveling, then we would I say we are on the right track. "

How many are still on short-time work?

In April, the highest level of short-time workers ever reached in the Federal Republic was reached, said the employment agency. According to this, 6.83 million people were on short-time work in April, after 2.49 million who were measured in March. Overall, companies have now registered short-time work for more than 12 million people during the Corona crisis. In addition to the 11.8 million in March, April and May, there were again advertisements for 342,000 people in June, reported the Federal Agency. Experience has shown that short-time work is not implemented in all of the indicated cases. The Federal Agency expects the companies with a delay of three months. "The job market is still under pressure because of the Corona crisis," said the chief executive of the Federal Agency, Detlef Scheele. "The massive use of short-time work stabilizes the labor market."

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According to the Nuremberg Institute for Employment Research, one in five employees subject to social security contributions was on short-time work in May. On average, 58 percent of the working time was lost. 24 percent of short-time workers would not have worked at all. Around half of the companies topped up the short-time work allowance paid by the Federal Employment Agency for their employees. Regionally, with around 25 percent, the regions of Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony-Bremen were most affected by short-time working, while the regions of Berlin-Brandenburg and Rhineland-Palatinate the least with 18 and 17 percent.

What would a second wave of infections mean?

"So far, the response to layoffs has been very robust in view of the great economic slump," says Enzo Weber from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). "But it is questionable how many companies could keep their workforce even after a second shutdown or survive economically at all." But the uncertainty of what will happen over the summer, whether the number of infections will increase and there will be more restrictions again, leaves that Companies are even more cautious about new hires. This affects young people who want to start an apprenticeship and also specialists who are looking for a new job. Dominik Groll from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy even believes: "If there were a second nationwide shutdown, the effects on the labor market would be more serious than the first shutdown."

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While the phase in the spring was perceived as an absolutely exceptional situation, expectations are likely to change fundamentally as a result of a renewed shutdown of the economy. The hope that the worst is over would be gone. Many companies would probably not be able to rely on short-time working again, but would have to lay off employees.

It is also questionable how a second wave could be financed. "A large part of the financial cushion of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) has already been claimed by the rise in unemployment and the massive use of short-time working in the wake of the lockdown of the first wave," says Oliver Stettes from the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. From his point of view, it is quite unclear how many financial reserves could be mobilized again. In fact, the BA is already heading towards a deficit of more than 30 billion euros because of the immense expenditure on short-time work benefits and more unemployment benefits. The authority has already spent 7.8 billion euros on short-time work in the current year. In 2009, the year of the financial crisis in 2009, 4.6 billion were spent on it. The authority has a reserve of 26 billion euros. The federal government has to offset the rest through a grant or loan.

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