German workers on short-time down 35% in August – Ifo

FILE PHOTO: Employees work at a factory run by PIKO, a model railway manufacturer, in the eastern German town of Sonneberg, October 9, 2014. To match Insight. REUTERS/Michelle Martin

BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of employees put on reduced working hours in job protection schemes in Germany fell by 35% in August, the economic institute Ifo said on Friday, as recovery in Europe’s largest economy continues.

The number of people on the short-time work scheme, also known as Kurzarbeit, fell to 688,000 in August, down from 1.06 million in July, the Munich-based institute said.

“This is the first time since the start of the coronavirus crisis that the number of people on short-time work has been below one million,” Ifo survey expert Stefan Sauer said.

Ifo said nearly all sectors of the economy reported a decline in August. The hospitality industry, one of the most hit by COVID-19 lockdown, was also recovering but still had 10% of its employees on shorter hours, it added.

Earlier this week, the Labour Office said the number of people out of work fell by 53,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 2.538 million.

The seasonally-adjusted jobless rate fell to 5.5%, the lowest since March 2020, when Germany entered its first coronavirus lockdown.

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