The head of the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research (IAB), which belongs to the Federal Employment Agency, Bernd Fitzenberger, expects unemployment to fall in the coming months. "The IAB labor market barometer signals that unemployment will decrease in the coming months and employment will continue to grow," Fitzenberger told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Even the job cuts in individual companies do not change this prospect.
Fitzenberger told the Funke newspapers that the labor market was "continuing to be robust" and that the economic prospects for the remainder of the year had "brightened". Despite the current “phase of economic weakness”, there is “all in all no widespread wave of layoffs”.
Although there are "reports from individual companies and areas that jobs are to be cut", the associated problems are "serious for the local people - especially when it comes to mass layoffs". However, this will “not be directly reflected in an overall increase in the unemployment rate”. Due to the high demand for skilled workers, those who have been laid off would find a new job very quickly.
The Federal Employment Agency recently reported that the number of unemployed in Germany rose to 2.62 million in February. That is 4,000 more than in January and 192,000 more than a year ago. The rate remained stable at 5.7 percent.
"Overall, the labor market was stable despite the tense economic situation," said the authority's chairwoman, Andrea Nahles, on Wednesday. Without the Ukrainian refugees, unemployment would have increased only slightly year-on-year. For its current statistics, the Federal Agency used data that was available up to February 13th.
According to the Federal Agency, the demand for workers has declined in Germany since early last summer. Nevertheless, the need for personnel is still at a high level, it said. In February, 778,000 job vacancies were reported, 44,000 fewer than a year ago.
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