Friedhelm Siepe, the director of the Hamburg jobs center, doesn’t hide his disappointment over being snubbed by a new program to reduce long-term unemployment in Germany.
“It is extremely painful when extra money is being distributed through the special program, and an entire state emerges empty-handed,” Mr. Siepe said.
Hamburg, the city-state in northern Germany with a population of about 1.75 million people, applied to take part in the new program, “Social Participation in the Labor Market,” as did 265 others job centers in cities and districts across the country.
But the city – where half of job-center clients have been out of work for more than four years – didn’t make the grade for selection by the federal labor ministry. Another big city, Munich, also failed to receive support from the special program with funds available for only 105 job centers.
The project is a building block of a larger program for reducing chronic joblessness. It was set up last year by Germany’s minister of labor, Andrea Nahles of the center-left Social Democrats, the minority partner in Germany’s governing coalition.