Skip to comments.German jobless numbers rise again
Posted on 03/31/2005 12:14:59 AM PST by Righty_McRight
Unemployment in Germany rose sharply in March for the third consecutive month, although economists warned that much of the jump reflected statistical changes.
The statistics, to be officially released today, will show a seasonally adjusted rise of 92,000 in the number of job seekers to 4.9m. The figures, published yesterday by Reuters and confirmed by people close to the Federal Labour Office, were substantially higher than economists had expected.
The unadjusted numbers should show a fall of 41,000 to 5.17m, which could lift some of the political pressure on Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's government since the headline figure breached the 5m mark for the first time in January.
Although rocketing unemployment is the most formidable challenge to face the government in the past 12 months, economists have long warned that statistical distortions introduced by recent labour market reforms had made the data difficult to interpret.
Today, politicians from the ruling coalition are expected to focus on the fall in the unadjusted figures, while economists probe the higher- than-expected jump in the seasonally corrected data.
"On the face of it, 92,000 additional jobseekers looks like a huge rise," said Dirk Schumacher, economist at Goldman Sachs, the investment bank. "The question is how much of it is statistical and how much is cyclical."
The Labour Agency is likely to give an estimate today of how much of the rise can be blamed on Hartz IV, the government's latest labour market reform, which came into force in January.
Under the reform, welfare recipients who had not been included in the jobless statistics are now accounted for in the figures. Economists estimate the bulk of the 500,000 additional job seekers recorded since January reflected such statistical changes.
Struggling to make sense of the official data, economists have turned to the unemployment components of business sentiment surveys for additional understanding of the German labour market. "What we see there certainly does not point to an improvement, but it does not suggest a deterioration either," Mr Schumacher said.
Allowing for statistical distortions experts agree that German companies have yet to resume hiring and investment despite an impressive rise in profits last year.
Mr Schröder showed some impatience at the weekend, when he said the "endless talk" by managers about shifting jobs abroad had to stop.
A survey by the GfK polling group published yesterday showed consumers had downgraded their growth and income expectations for the second consecutive month.
"Mr Schröder showed some impatience at the weekend, when he said the "endless talk" by managers about shifting jobs abroad had to stop. "
Yet another failed socialist regime.
[Under the reform, welfare recipients who had not been included in the jobless statistics are now accounted for in the figures. Economists estimate the bulk of the 500,000 additional job seekers recorded since January reflected such statistical changes.]
Huh? If I read this right, if you were a welfare recipient you could have been considered to be employed?
The only thing I could take away from it was that perhaps those people on welfare were counted as not being in the "labor force" so they were neither employed or unemployed. But when the statistics reintroduced them into the labor force, they increased the labor force and the number of people unemployed, driving up the unemployment rate.
As someone who understands American labor fairly well, this article was confusing to me...
As someone who understands American labor *statistics
You took the words right out of my mouth. When these Euro-Weenies finally get off of their infantile high horses they will see that they have no more power against patently unfair trading practices by the likes of China, India et al than we do and free trade must go hand in hand with fair trade. When Schroeder learns this perhaps he will teach our trade negotiators what he then knows? One can only hope.
This isn't surprising.
From my experience here, Europeans, and Germans especially, seem to think that problems with regulations can be solved by making more regulations. Also from what I've seen, alot of Germans I know automatically assume that something is verboten unless there is a law or regulation which specifically says it is allowed, if that makes sense.
These are all just my opinions after living here for quite some time already.
I recall reading an article about obtaining a German Driver's License that ratifies your observations about excessive regulations. Contrast that with the relative ease an Illegal Alien can obtain a license here and I think two extreme opposites emerge with the middle ground needed now.
The Shifting Jobs they are talking about isn't to China insomuch as it is shifting to the former Communist countries like Poland, et al. Germany got screwed in the Fall of the Berlin Wall by taking on the East, it puts an additional drain on their Social Welfare State, which hurts them against France & Italy but their work laws do not let company's take advantage of a low cost work force.
Getting a drivers license here isn't the only thing that is regulated to death (thankfully I have a USAREUR license and didn't have to go through this crap). But don't think that driving privledges is the only thing regulated to death over here. For example, you have to pay for and take a few month long class to receive a license for FISHING. And then you have to get a permit to fish in a particular area of a lake or river. Same thing goes for hunting.
Well, as the EU expands and Poland et al are forced to implement Enviro Regs and other costly things like workplace safety regs, workers comp and the like they will be facing China, India et al. Example - The cost of production of a ton of coal in China - About 1/10 that of the US. Death rate per ton of coal produced in China - About 150 times that in the US (And maybe more since Chinese statistics and reporting are notoriously lax in these matters). The same is true with some variation in almost every area of so-called China Fair Trade.
Its not more confusing than the american statistics. Who really know how many people are out of work in the US. When people have been unemployed for more than a year the disappear from statistics. Also how many millions are not registrated living in the US? Its easy to increase GDP when you run hugh deficits. Most money goes to military equipment and not to the average American. From 1975 almost all the economic gains have been "given" the top 20% of the population. I know German runs deficits too, but most of this trouble comes from the problems with former East Germany. Before the unification West Germany was doing really good.
I would say the US has hughs problems too. Atleast compare to Norway that runs hugh trade surpluses and bugdet surpluses.
"The figure of 5.216 million people, or 12.6% of the working-age population, is the highest jobless rate in Europe's biggest economy since the 1930s."
Clearly, Germany needs an emergency tax increase.
No doubt the German situation is out of control, but Scandinavia is doing good
Compare to the GDP per capita of Luxembourg the US and other rich countries look like the third world.
YIKEs! sounds like you need to buy yourself a quarter of germany to enjoy all the stuff you like without a hassle, if you were rich enough you could have part of an autobahn, a mountain, lake, (ski lodge), airport etc. Then you can just stick your thumb/nose out at them and say, Here's what i think of your regulations! :)
I looked at some less-than-current German participation rates; while they weren't from an official source and should be discounted to a degree, assuming some accuracy to the figures they weren't all that bad.
I haven't yet found a good government source for German labor information; if anyone has one, could you please post it or freepmail it?
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