According to 2008 microcensus published by the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) this week, almost every tenth worker in Germany did not have a permanent contract and half of those hired for new positions faced similarly precarious employment conditions.
These numbers are at their highest level since German reunification, Destatis reported from its headquarters in Wiesbaden.
The trend varies across trade branches, the study found.
Those in security, custodial and service industries are particularly vulnerable, and temporary contracts for immigrants are well above average because more tend to work in these areas, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.
“Limited contracts are now being used as a lengthened probationary period,” Claudia Weinkopf, and employment expert at the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Institute for Work, Skills and Training, told the paper. “The companies want to stay free and as flexible as possible during the crisis.”
But Ingrid Sehrbrock, deputy leader of the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) told the paper her organisation wants the government to require that companies justify temporary job contracts, which force young people in particular to “orient their life and family planning on the next available job.”