Roughly 44.3 million people resident in Germany were in employment in January 2021 according to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The seasonally adjusted number of persons in employment rose slightly by 14,000, or 0.0%, in January 2021 compared with the previous month. Agreed earnings in the country rose by an average 2.1% in 2020 compared with 2019.
The number of persons in employment in Germany thus is still markedly below the pre-crisis level. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of persons in employment in January 2021 was down by 1.6%, or 726,000, on February 2020, the month before restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic in Germany.
Without seasonal adjustment, the number of persons in employment was down on the previous month in January 2021 (by 306,000 or -0.7%), which is normal for that time of the year. This month-on-month decline was slightly below the relevant average for January over the past five years (-329,000 people).
Compared with January 2020, the number of persons in employment decreased markedly by 1.6% (-714,000). The year-on-year decrease in the number of persons in employment thus continued. The year-on-year change rate had been from -1.4% to -1.5% each month from May to October 2020 and -1.6% in November and December, respectively. In the pre-crisis month of February 2020, employment had increased by 0.4% (+199,000) on a year earlier.
According to estimates based on the labor force survey, 2.04 million people were unemployed in January 2021. That was an increase of 90,000, or 4.6%, compared with December 2020. Compared with January 2020, the number of unemployed increased by 564,000 (+38.2%). The unemployment rate was 4.6% in January 2021.
As for agreed earnings in Germany, it rose by an average 2.1% in 2020 compared with 2019. This is shown by the index of agreed monthly earnings including extra payments. The provisional result released on 21 December 2020 (+2.1%) is thus confirmed. This has been the lowest increase of agreed earnings since 2016 (also 2.1% on 2015). Agreed earnings excluding extra payments rose by 2.4% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Consumer prices were up 0.5% over the same period.