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Germany – Temporary workers face higher risk of losing job

24 January 2013

Temporary agency workers run a higher risk of losing their jobs than employees in more “traditional” employment relationships, according to new statistics by Germany’s federal employment agency (BA).

A recent analysis report found that agency workers are more at risk of being dismissed as their prospects of losing their jobs are on average four times higher. But one in two temporary agency workers were in jobs that lasted three months or more.

The statistics relate to 2012 figures which have been attained by the German news agency. This found that last year, around 2.482 million people liable to pay social contributions lost their jobs. 400,000 of them, around 16%, were temporary agency workers who only make up 3% of the total workforce. The data also shows that 10% of temporary agency staff were dismissed after a week, and 40% after three months.

But the staffing industry emphasised that job prospects have improved for agency workers. “Staffing firms offer more long-term opportunities. And especially for workers who find it difficult to gain ground in the labour market,” said Werner Stolz, managing director of the German association of staffing firms (iGZ).

The staffing market in Germany has been fluctuating due to an economic slowdown. Recent figures indicate that the number of temporary agency workers fell by nearly -15% to 804,000 in November 2012 from 944,000 a year ago.

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