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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Destatis Federal Statistical Office

Decline in the number of unemployed, underemployed and silent reserves

Press release No. 397 from October 9, 2020

WIESBADEN – In 2019, almost 4.4 million people between the ages of 15 and 74 wanted work or an increase in their working hours. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) after the results of the labor force survey, the unused labor potential fell by 5.0% compared to the previous year (-231,000 people). Whether and to what extent this trend will continue or will be interrupted by the Corona crisis in 2020 is unclear at this point in time.

The unused potential workforce in 2019 was made up of almost 1.4 million unemployed, around 2.1 million underemployed and 899,000 people in silent reserve. Compared to the previous year, both the number of unemployed (-95,000) and the number of underemployed (-109,000) fell significantly. The number of people in silent reserve fell only slightly (-26,000 people).

The number of underemployed has decreased and that of overemployed has increased

Underemployed people are those who wish to increase their working hours and who are available to do so. In 2019, 4.9% of those in employment in Germany between the ages of 15 and 74 were underemployed according to their own information. 9.3% of part-time employees and 3.2% of full-time employees would like their working hours to be increased. It should be noted here that underemployed full-time employees usually only want to increase their working hours by a few hours.

The 2.1 million underemployed contrasted with almost 1.5 million employed who wanted to work less. These so-called overemployed people want to reduce their working hours with a correspondingly reduced income. Compared to the previous year, the number of overemployed people increased further: in 2019 there was an increase of 47,000 people, in 2018 there was a slight increase of 23,000 people.

The proportion of other inactive persons who would like to work has increased slightly compared to the previous year

In the case of inactive people, a distinction is made between the hidden reserve, other inactive people who want to work and other inactive people who do not want to work.

People in silent reserve have no work at all, but are not considered unemployed according to the criteria of the International Labor Organization. The silent reserve includes people who are looking for work but are not available to start work at short notice (within two weeks). This also includes people who are currently not looking for work for various reasons, but would generally like to work and are available for it. In 2019, 4.9% of the inactive population aged 15 to 74 belonged to the hidden reserve. This proportion is unchanged compared to the previous year. In contrast, the proportion of other inactive people with a general desire for work increased slightly in 2019 compared to the previous year to 6.5% (2018: 6.4%).

Other inactive people with a general desire to work show less proximity to the labor market than people in the hidden reserve, as they are neither looking for work nor are they available at short notice. They are not counted as part of the unused labor potential of the internationally agreed definition used here, but should not be disregarded in the analysis due to their size of just under 1.2 million people.

Labor force survey: employed and unused labor force1
15 to 74 year olds
2019
2018
change
A total of
Men
Women
A total of
from 2019 to 2018
in 1,000
in 1,000
in %
1 15- to 74-year-olds in private households. 2 The information on part-time work relates to the self-assessment of the respondents. 3 Inactive persons are the sum of the silent reserve and other inactive persons. 4 The unused labor potential is the sum of the unemployed, underemployed and hidden reserves. 5 Proportion of employed persons among all persons aged 15 to 74. 6 Share of unemployed in the labor force (employed and unemployed). 7 Proportion of underemployed and overemployed among the employed. 8 Share of the total of unemployed, underemployed and people in silent reserve in relation to the total of employed, unemployed and silent reserve.
population 1
61 930
31 078
30 852
61 987
-57
-0.1
Employed
42 221
22 504
19 717
41 735
486
1.2
Full-time workers 2
30 255
19 907
10 348
30 068
187
0.6
Part-time workers 2
11 965
2 597
9 368
11 665
300
2.6
Unemployed
1 373
818
554
1 468
-95
-6.5
Underemployed
2,082
1 048
1 034
2 191
-109
-5.0
Full-time workers 2
971
714
256
978
-7
-0.7
Part-time workers 2
1 111
334
778
1 213
-102
-8.4
Overemployed
1 464
825
640
1 417
47
3.3
Full-time workers 2
1 305
795
509
1 266
39
3.1
Part-time workers 2
160
30th
130
151
9
6.0
Hidden reserve
899
451
448
925
-26
-2.8
Searching, but not available at short notice
437
236
202
449
-12
-2.7
Available but not searching
462
216
246
477
-15
-3.1
Other inactive people with a desire to work
1 186
479
708
1 208
-22
-1.8
Other inactive people with no desire to work
16 250
6 825
9 425
16 650
-400
-2.4
Inactive people 3
18 336
7 755
10 581
18 784
-448
-2.4
Total unused workforce 4
4 354
2,317
2 036
4,585
-231
-5.0

in %

in percentage points

in %

Employment rate 5
68.2
72.4
63.9
67.3
0.9
1.3
Part-time quota
28.3
11.5
47.5
28.0
0.3
1.1
Unemployment rate 6
3.1
3.5
2.7
3.4
-0.3
-8.8
Underemployment rate 7
4.9
4.7
5.2
5.2
-0.3
-5.8
Full-time workers
3.2
3.6
2.5
3.3
-0.1
-3.0
Part-time workers
9.3
12.9
8.3
10.4
-1.1
-10.6
Overemployment rate 7
3.5
3.7
3.2
3.4
0.1
2.9
Share of the hidden reserve among the economically inactive
4.9
5.8
4.2
4.9
0.0
0.0
Share of other economically inactive people with a desire to work out of the economically inactive population
6.5
6.2
6.7
6.4
0.1
1.6
Share of unused potential workforce in the population
7.4
7.8
7.0
7.4
0.0
0.0
Rate of unused labor potential 8
10.4
10.3
10.5
10.4
0.0
0.0

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MIL OSI

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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