The negative consequences of the corona pandemic on the Berlin labor market are evidently being overcome step by step. The number of people looking for a job also fell in the past month of September. In absolute numbers: 190,435 women and men were registered as unemployed, 5724 fewer than in August and 18,847 fewer than a year earlier, as the Federal Employment Agency announced on Thursday.
At 9.4 percent, the unemployment rate was 1.1 percentage points lower than a year ago. Companies continued to look for new employees, it said. “Vacancies can be found across all sectors, especially in retail, in the professional services as well as in trade and industry.” As reported, the catering sector in particular is looking for employees. Many had found other jobs during the pandemic and no longer want to go back.
The short-time working indicator also developed positively. Fewer and fewer people in Berlin are on short-time work. According to the latest available figures, there were still a good 76,000 in June, around 30,000 fewer than in the previous month. Almost every 20th employee who is subject to social insurance contributions still receives short-time allowance. The agent was used by employers during the pandemic so that no one had to be laid off. With this instrument, the working hours and, accordingly, the salary are reduced, the employment agencies partially cover the difference.
The positive development on the labor market continued in September, said the head of the Berlin-Brandenburg regional directorate, Ramona Schröder. While the pre-corona level has been reached again in Brandenburg, Berlin is still lagging a little behind. In a comparison of the federal states, unemployment was only higher in Bremen in August.
Unemployed people who, for example, are in further training or who are temporarily unable to work are not included in the unemployment figure. If you add them to this, there are 243,416 Berliners without work. This so-called underemployment is almost 15,000 lower than a year ago.
Representatives of the Berlin economy are satisfied with the development, but warn at the same time. “A stable job market is not a sure-fire success,” said IHK Vice President Sebastian Stietzel. Job profiles and thus the requirements for the skills of employees have changed rapidly, not least due to advancing digitization. He therefore expects the next Senate to put integration, qualification and placement at the top of the to-do list. Furthermore, trainees with a migration background need special German courses in training-related technical language.
Positive trend on the labor market in Brandenburg too
The Deputy General Manager of the Berlin-Brandenburg Business Associations (UVB), Alexander Schirp, expresses a little different. He thinks the corona aftermath remained like a block on the job market. Unemployment is falling, but still too timid – although September usually means tailwind for the labor market. “The companies first cut back on short-time work before hiring new staff on a large scale. This creates too few new jobs to compensate for the losses in the wake of the pandemic. ”In addition, the delivery difficulties for raw materials and primary products are slowing down production in many places.
In Brandenburg, the positive trend on the labor market is also continuing. In September, 73,094 people were registered as unemployed in the state, as the responsible regional directorate of the Federal Employment Agency announced on Thursday. That was 2,343 fewer people than in August and 9,951 fewer than in September of the previous year. The unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, 0.1 percentage points below the August rate and 0.7 percentage points below the same month last year. Brandenburg’s Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) sees the labor market on the road to recovery after the stress of the Corona crisis. Short-time work has continued to decline, it fell to 3.7 percent. “This, too, is a sign of the revival of the economy.”
Nationwide labor market is recovering
The numbers are also developing positively nationwide, with the Federal Agency speaking of a strong autumn recovery. Only about 200,000 of the 2,465,000 unemployed in September were due to the crisis, said the board member of the Federal Employment Agency, Daniel Terzenbach, on Thursday in Nuremberg. The comparative figure had already been 650,000.
However, Terzenbach drew attention to the fact that the crisis has changed the labor market. The number of long-term unemployed – especially older people with less education – has risen sharply. At just over a million, it is 40 percent above the pre-crisis level. In contrast, youth unemployment is lower than it has ever been since reunification.