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Agency workers in Germany struggle to make ends meet and have to rely on welfare and unemployment benefits despite often having full-time jobs, according to new data. The German state paid millions to fund agency workers in low-paid jobs last year.
The government said that it paid unemployment benefits amounting to around €347 million to agency workers in 2011. Unions, which end to have a hostile stance towards temporary employment in Germany, have criticised this development.
Wilhelm Adamy from the German Confederation of Trade Unions said: “In no other industry was the expenditure of unemployment benefits for full-time employees as high as in the staffing industry. Wages which don’t provide enough to make a living are still massively subsidised by the state via unemployment benefits.”
The figures show that around 16% of those having received unemployment benefits in 2011 were agency workers who represent around 3% of the total workforce in the country. Unions warned that agency workers are at higher risk of poverty than other employees.