Annual average unemployment rate in Germany from 1995 to 2017

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Unemployment rate

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This statistic shows the annual average unemployment rate in Germany from 1995 to 2017. As of 2017*, the annual average unemployment rate in Germany was at 6.2 percent.
The unemployment rate shows the share of unemployed people among potential employees available for the job market. This figure is calculated as follows - number of unemployed persons: number of unemployed persons + number of employed persons = unemployment rate (in percent).

The status of being unemployed is defined as when an employed person is laid off, fired or quits his work and is still looking for a job. Even in a healthy economy unemployment occurs. If former employed persons go back to school or leave the job to take care of children they are not defined as unemployed. Unemployment can be a result of advanced technology, when machines replace worker tasks. Sometimes unemployment is caused by job outsourcing, when a company gets insolvent. Large-scale unemployment is also caused when consumer demands gets down and companies loose profit.

Unemployment benefit payments in Germany are only paid, if you are unemployed and worked for the last 12 months. Otherwise benefits are received in the form of Arbeitslosengeld II, also called Hartz IV, which distributes social payments to people without an income who cannot work to make a living.
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Release date
March 2017
Survey time period
1995 to 2017
Supplementary notes
* The figure for 2017 is an average figure based on the months January through March.

Figures for 2013 originate from earlier publications of the Federal Employment Agency.

The unemployment rate shows the share of unemployed in the total number of civilian employees and is a guiding confirmation of the state of the employment market and the job situation, as well as being a part of unemployment statistics. The Federal Employment Agency defines unemployment as follows: "Unemployed is that person who does not have an occupation (less than 15 weekly hours), is looking for a job, is a the disposal of the job market and is registered as unemployed in a employment agency or a basic provision body. By this definition not all those in need of help and able to work are to be counted as unemployed." Thus, a person is not automatically unemployed just because he or she is not working.

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