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Germany — Temporary employees in demand again

18 September 2009

After having reached its lowest point in May 2009, temporary employment grew by 4% in June, and continued to do so in July and August.

According to official statistics from the Federal Association for Temporary Employment (BZA), there were 526,000 temporary employees in Germany in June 2009. Based on a 4% growth per month since then, the number should have grown to 550,000 temporary employees in August 2009. However, this is still much lower than the 823,000 temporary employees there were in July 2008.

A BZA spokesman told Handelsblatt, "all temporary employment agencies are telling us that their figures are up but we need to wait for a bit longer to see if this is due to seasonal highs or whether it marks the end of the recession."

Hartmut Lueerssen of labour market research firm Luenendonk said, "the market is stabilising. In the South West of Germany the situation is the most tense because the automotive and machinery industries down there have lost a lot of temporary employees…At the moment the market requires mainly people with business, technical and IT qualifications as well as vocationally trained specialist workers."

Darko Lalos, Head of staffing agency Trenkwalder said that "in the past 8 months we have placed more than 1,000 new staff." Lalos is convinced that this trend will continue based on what his clients tell him.

Market leader Randstad is equally optimistic. A spokesperson said, "it is too early to talk about a full recovery but the importance of temporary employment in Germany will rise. People are looking principally for technical specialists for businesses like call centres or airport services."

Christian Salge, member of the board of Manpower Germany comes from a different angle. He said, "the rule of thumb is that if things get better companies employ temporary employees in order to cope with the workload."

"However, in this economic crisis that will only happen so much because the first thing companies will do is put people currently on reduced working hours onto normal working hours again." Manpower do not expect a serious upturn before the middle of 2010.



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