There are different methods for recording unemployment figures, each of which leads to different definitions of unemployed. They differ in terms of data collection, job search methods and the definition of marginally employed.
The ILO employment statistics of the Federal Statistical Office implement the internationally recognized and applied criteria formulated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the differentiation of persons according to their employment status. The source of the unemployment data is the Labour Force Survey, which in Germany is integrated into the Microcensus, a monthly survey of 35,000 persons. The figures according to the Social Code of Germany (Sozialgesetzbuch von Deutschland, SGB) are obtained from the business data of the employment agencies and the job centers. According to these regulations, a person is unemployed or active if he or she is registered by the relevant authorities. As of January 2007, the unemployment data collected or transmitted in the separate procedures are merged in the BA statistics in such a way that the individual episodes of unemployment and job search develop without overlapping and in a consistent manner.
Since 2009, the number of "all civilian labour force" has been used as the reference figure for the number of gainfully employed persons, although the time series based on the "dependent civilian labour force", which has a longer tradition in Germany, is also continued. The "dependent civilian labour force" includes (only) the employees subject to social insurance contributions, the "all civilian labour force" also includes the self-employed and assisting family members. This reference figure ("all civilian employed persons" + unemployed persons) is updated once a year, usually in May or June.
The unemployment rate is calculated according to the following formula:
UR = 100 * Unemploymenta/("all civilian employed"t + Unemploymentt)
where a: current time and t: scheduled time (time of collection of the reference value).
The unemployment rate shows the percentage change in the number of unemployed compared to the previous month. This figure is seasonally adjusted.
Labour market figures are among the most important economic indicators. However, they lag the economic development by a few months, so they confirm a development rather than indicate it. Nevertheless, a decline in the unemployment rate can have a positive impact on the euro.
The chart of the entire available history of the "Germany Unemployment Rate" macroeconomic indicator. The dashed line shows the forecast values of the economic indicator for the specified dates.
A significant deviation of a real value from a forecast one may cause a short-term strengthening or weakening of a national currency in the Forex market. The threshold values of the indicators signaling the approach of the critical state of the national (local) economy occupy a special place.
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