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Annual average unemployment figures for Germany 2004-2020

Annual average unemployment figures in Germany have been encouraging in recent years due to falling rates. In 2020, there were 2.52 million unemployed people, compared to 2.79 million 5 years earlier. The share of unemployed foreigners in Germany has also been decreasing gradually.


By definition, "registered as unemployed" are those who are registered with the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) or a similar association providing basic social care as "being out of a job (i.e. works less than 15 hours per week), looking for a job, available for the job market." This means that not every employable person in need is unemployed. Thus, people who do not work are not automatically unemployed. Predictably, German jobseekers also use social media platforms to look for employment, among them foremost professional networks such as LinkedIn and the German Xing. Companies also increasingly use online job platforms to look for employees.

Automation risk

On average, hours worked on the so-called main job in Germany amounted to 34.4 a week in 2017, though of course details depend on individual fields and job types. A rising concern among employees is the threat of job loss due to automation. Estimates until 2030 place manufacturing, as well as wholesale and retail trade at the top of the list as far as high risk in this context is concerned.

Annual average unemployment figures for Germany from 2004 to 2020

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

2004 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* The figure for 2020 is referring to the figure from January to February.

The data for all years up until 2016 was taken from previous publications by the Bundesagentur für Arbeit.

Figures were rounded for a better understanding of the statistic.

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Statistics on "Germany"

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