As a result of the past reforms, employment in Germany has continued to rise for the eight
consecutive years and reached an all-time high of 41.84 million in 2013, an increase of 233,000
In particular, women and the elderly have benefitted from the positive trends in the
labor market. Unemployment has fallen by almost two million since 2005. At the end of 2013,
2.95 million people were unemployed, and the jobless rate was at 6.9%, according to official
data from the German Federal Statistical Office (using the internationally comparable concept of
the International Labor Organization (ILO) the German unemployment rate stands at 5.5%).
There was a minor surge in unemployment in 2013, with an increase of 0.1% or 53,000, in
comparison to 2012, the year with the lowest unemployment rate since German reunification
Germany also had the lowest youth unemployment rate of 7.5% in 2013, in contrast to
the European Union average of 23.6%. Although the unemployment rate gap between eastern
Germany’s and western Germany’s federal states has considerably narrowed in recent years, the
unemployment rate in the eastern states (11%) still significantly exceeds that of the western
states (6.4%). In 2013, the number of individuals affected by underemployment also further
decreased by 25,000 to 3.9 million (9%) compared to the previous year.