M.he falling number of infections in Germany is showing signs of a strong economic recovery – and the mood is also rising among the population. The unemployed are among the beneficiaries. The local employment agencies expect the situation on the labor market to brighten enormously in the next three months: The labor market barometer published on Monday by the Institute for Employment Research reached an all-time high of 107.4 points in June – with a scale of 90 for a very bad to 110 is enough for a very good development. “Never before” since the beginning of the records in 2008 had the employment agencies expected such a strong improvement, said research area manager Enzo Weber.
Of course, this is also due to the fact that the Corona crisis caused a sharp slump in the spring of last year, from which the labor market has only partially recovered. Most recently, around 450,000 more people were unemployed than before the pandemic, and at the same time 735,000 people were less gainfully employed. However, in May unemployment fell more than usual for the time of year, and there are some indications that the positive trend will continue.
Retirees are among the winners
The local employment agencies apparently also assume this. “The number of infections in Germany is low and the world economy is picking up. Now is the time window for a strong labor market recovery, ”said Weber. With a view to the development of seasonally adjusted unemployment, the employment agencies are now even expecting a stronger recovery than after the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 – provided that the number of infections does not rise sharply again due to virus mutations. The labor market figures for June will be released on Wednesday.
The prerequisite for the good news is the current economic upswing. It is not only visible in the livelier city centers and shops, but also in hard numbers: The Ifo business climate index, the most important German economic indicator, jumped to 101.8 points in June – the highest level since November 2018. Not only in the In industry, the companies assessed their current situation and the prospects for the coming six months better, but also in the service sector and trade. In line with this, the GfK consumer climate index, which measures consumer sentiment, also increased significantly. Economic researchers are currently assuming that German economic output will return to pre-crisis levels in the third quarter.
Pensioners are also among the winners of the upswing. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) told the Bild newspaper: “If the upswing continues, pensioners will also benefit from it because we keep the pension level stable.” He did not say how high the plus will be. The German pension insurance forecasts 4.8 percent plus in the west and 5.6 percent in the east for the coming year.
The return to a more normal life and the economic upswing are noticeably improving life satisfaction among Germans, according to survey data from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, which was evaluated by the Marburg sociologist Martin Schröder. On a ten-point scale, the satisfaction rating fell from 7.2 in August 2020 to 6.1 in April 2021. This decline is twice as bad as becoming unemployed, explains Schröder. In June the value has risen again to 6.8 – which is a bigger leap in luck than when people get married.