Robust economy leaves long-term jobless behind
Published on: 31 Jan 2012 08:25 CET
Only 14.9 percent of 1.4 million people out of work for longer than a year have managed to secure employment, the Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported citing a parliamentary question by the socialist Left party.
Some 35 percent had been struck from the jobless register on account of their fundamental unsuitability for gainful employment. A further 11 percent were no longer considered to be seeking a job “due to lacking availability or cooperation,” according to the government answer to the inquiry.
Yet another 23 percent of the long-term unemployed had been shunted into government retraining schemes.
The figures belie Germany's job miracle in recent years, which has seen a steady decline in the unemployment rolls.
German joblessness fell to a record low in January, seasonally adjusted data showed Tuesday, as the deep restructuring and wage moderation of recent years shielded Europe's biggest economy from the worst of the debt crisis.
In nominal terms, the number of people registered as unemployed rose to 3.082 million in January, equivalent to a jobless rate of 7.3 percent, data published by the Federal Labour Agency in Nuremberg showed. But labour agency chief Frank Weise insisted the rise was solely due to seasonal factors.
Unemployment tends to rise in the winter months as sectors such as the construction sector slow down and lay off workers due to the cold weather and the retail sector also lays off thousands of temporary workers hired especially for the busy Christmas season.
However, seasonally adjusted data, calculated separately by the Bundesbank, showed that the jobless total decreasing by 34,000 to 2.849 million this month, the lowest level since German unification in 1991.
And the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate slipped to a record low of 6.7 percent in January from 6.8 in December. The figures were much better than expected: analysts had been pencilling in a drop of just 10,000 in the jobless total this month.
"The labour market is showing no sign of going into hibernation, but in fact remains very robust," said Economy Minister Philipp Rösler. "Rising employment and falling unemployment will help stabilise domestic demand and boost the chances that the German economy will quickly be able to leave the current lull in growth behind it."