‘Working hours in Germany fell more than ever before’


Working hours in Germany last year “fell more than ever before” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a research institution revealed.

On Tuesday, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) announced that the number of working hours in Germany declined by 4.7 per cent to 59.64 billion, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Average working hours per employee in 2020 fell by more than 50 hours to the lowest level since reunification” 30 years ago, said Enzo Weber, head of the IAB research department, in a statement.

For the first time in 16 years, employment numbers in Germany also dropped, declining by 1.1 per cent to an average of 44.8 million in 2020, according to the research institute of Germany’s Federal Employment Agency.

The “largest share of the reduction in working hours in 2020 is due to the enormously high number of people on short-time work”, the IAB noted.

The short-time work compensation government program was used at record levels during the Covid-19 crisis in 2020.

After peaking in April 2020 at just under six million, the number of employees receiving short-time work allowances in Germany gradually declined, but rose again in November as a result of the renewed restrictions and lockdown, according to the German Federal Employment Agency.

The number of unemployed in Germany increased by 509,000 year-on-year to more than 2.9 million in February, according to the agency.

The unemployment rate remained at 6.3 per cent compared to the previous month.