German unemployment rate climbs to 5.7 pct in January

BERLIN, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Germany's labor market continues to show little signs of weakening amid the energy crisis. As is typical for this time of the year, the country's unemployment rate climbed slightly to 5.7 percent in January, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) said on Tuesday.

The number of jobless people in Europe's largest economy rose by 162,000 month-on-month to just under 2.62 million in January. The figure was 154,000 higher than a year ago, according to the BA.

The labor market remained "stable," BA chief Andrea Nahles said in a statement. "However, the effects of geopolitical and economic uncertainties continue to be evident."

Last year, Germany's total workforce grew to a new record high of 45.6 million employees.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the immigration of foreign workers and the increased participation of domestic population "more than offset" demographic change on the country's labor market.

Despite this development, labor shortage in Germany has been increasing for years.

In mid-2022, the country's economy lacked more than half a million skilled workers on an annual average, according to the German Economic Institute (IW). Particularly in sales, daycare centers, social work and hospitals, the shortage is to increase even further.

To attract more workers from abroad, the German government decided to lower income thresholds for the Blue Card required for foreign nationals to work in the country.

Asylum procedures have also been accelerated and a so-called opportunity card for people with high potential is to be introduced.

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