German unemployment is up again.
The jobless total – not adjusted for seasonal factors, which is the headline figure used in Germany – climbed in December after falling for the previous three months.
The government has been giving money to companies to make up the wages of workers who been cut to part time.
But the head of the Federal Employment Agency, Frank-Jürgen Weise, said that cannot go on indefinitely: “The part-time work scheme has helped the labour market so far, but the money isn’t there to keep that running for such a long time. So companies that can’t make it financially will have to fire workers.”
The Federal Employment Agency said that there were as many as 140,000 people working part-time under that scheme in December.
During the month, there were nearly 3.28 million Germans out of work.
While in Spain – which has a population just over half the size of Germany’s – the number of people registered as jobless hit more than 3.9 million in December.
That is the highest in more than a decade and Spain’s jobless rate, at almost 20 percent, is double the average in the euro zone.
Unemployment is up by 25 percent from a year earlier, and economist Enrique Quemada said recovery will be slow: “Europe will move on from the crisis because France and Germany are doing it, they are the engines of the European economy. But Spain has a structural problem. Spain was too reliant on the building industry and a big part of the Spanish economy, 26 percent of it, turned around the building industry.”
Construction was the worst affected sector in December, the number of building workers without jobs was up 7.5 percent compared with the same month a year earlier.