By the end of last September, more than 7.3 million of these poorly paid, tax-exempt jobs of up to €400 per month existed – nearly 1.6 million more than in 2003, according to the figures from the Federal Labour Office (BA).
The figures, reported in daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, show that roughly one in four jobs are now such mini-jobs. This includes nearly five million workers for whom a mini-job is their main employment but also more than two million for whom it is a second job.
It is this latter category of workers, who moonlight in an additional job earning up to €400 per month tax-exempt, that has grown significantly in recent years. Their number has more than doubled.
Mini-jobs are most common in retail and wholesale sales, in restaurants and hotels, and in health and welfare services. Almost half the jobs in food and beverage hospitality are mini-jobs.
Figures released earlier this month showed that Europe's largest economy will grow by a healthy 2.6 percent this year. Average unemployment is projected to be 2.9 million in 2011 and 2.7 million in 2012, according to the forecasts - well under the politically sensitive three-million mark.