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Germany – Temporary employment up again but not all sectors fare well

11 May 2012

The number of temporary workers in March increased by +1.8% to 850,000 compared to 835,000 in February, according to the latest temporary employment Index by the German association of staffing firms (BAP), which also shows that demand for temporary workers has increased by +1.3% in the month.

Small firms, which hire up to 50 employees, have seen the highest demand in temporary work (+7.9%), outshining performance in both medium-sized (+1.4%) and large firms (+1.2%) when compared to the previous month.

Employment agencies in Germany also recorded an increase of hours worked by temporary staff, which was up +1.6% when compared to February. Again, smaller firms recorded the highest increase of hours worked (+7.4%) while in medium-sized (+2.8%) and large firms (+1.5%) the growth rate was slower.

When looking at geographical developments, the Northern region of Hamburg certainly takes the lead as temporary staffing was up by +12.6% in March compared to February. But in the Western region of Sauerland/Nordhessen there has been a notable decline of -7.7%.

The contract volume in March shows a few downward trends as the majority of sectors actually showed a monthly decrease. In support positions, the contract volume dropped by -60%, followed by posts in the metal and electro industry (-44%), technical jobs (-37%) and admin positions (-31%).

The number of applications for temporary work has also declined with the exception of support roles where applications were up by +29% although the contract volume declined sharply. Especially the metal and electro industry (-42%) and the technical sector (-45%) saw a drop in applications as the labour market seems to tighten in these areas.

This comes after three states in Germany have this week tried to gain more control over regulating temporary employment. Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatine, which are all governed by the Green Party or the Social Democrats, failed to secure the support of the Confederation of German Service Industry, which declined their demand yesterday.

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