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Germany – Temporary worker numbers fall

22 January 2014

In the six months to June 2013 the number of temporary workers fell by almost -6.4%, compared with the same period the previous year, according to the latest figures from the German Federal Employment Agency (BA).

During the first six months of 2013 the number of temporary workers was 815,000, down from 870,600 in the first half of 2012. This trend coincided with a drop of -2.3% in the number of temporary employment agencies across Germany. There were 6,812 in June 2012 compared with 6,657 in June 2013.

Volker Enkerts, President of the Federal Employers’ Association of Personnel Services (BAP), commented: “That’s really not good news for our industry. One reason for this may have been that the skills shortages experienced by our customers increased the permanent retention of temporary workers. The second reason is the uncertainty among buyers of temporary work that was triggered by the ongoing political debate, especially for the general election. Buyers were often left wondering if and how they were allowed to use temporary workers, because perceived grievances were denounced daily and people were demanding restrictions on their use.    

Temporary work has, nevertheless, benefitted the German labour market.

“Temporary work continues to play an important role in the German labour market. In the first half of 2013, nearly 300,000 people who were previously unemployed or who had no professional experience, found work with a temporary recruitment agency. As in previous years, our industry recruited nearly two-thirds of jobseekers who had been given no opportunities in other sectors of the economy,” Mr Enkerts added.    

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