Long-term Unemployment

Blip in Rosy Jobs Outlook

Jobwall-simone m. neumann
Around a million people in Germany still can't find a job despite the country's booming economy.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany is struggling with a labor issue on two fronts: finding jobs for the long-term unemployed and finding more qualified workers.

  • Facts


    • Over 150 jobs centers, including those in Hamburg and Munich, receive nothing extra from a program targeting chronic joblessness.
    • The labor ministry says that it stabilized the annual budget for jobs centers at about €8 billion since 2013.
    • Overall, readiness to hire is at a three-year high, according the Ifo economic research institute.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

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.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.