The number of short-time workers in Germany has risen to its highest level since June 2022 in the wake of the economic downturn. In February, it climbed by almost nine percent to 220,000, as the Munich-based Ifo Institute announced on Monday. In January, this affected only 203,000 people. "The development of short-time work reflects the current mild winter recession," said Ifo labour market researcher Sebastian Link. The share of employees climbed from 0.6 to 0.7 percent in February.

According to the IFO, short-time workers are concentrated in industry at 161,000, after 155,000 in January or 2.3 percent after 2.2 percent. In the automotive industry, the figure was as high as 4.9 percent or 46,000 employees. Textile, leather and paper manufacturers with 6.7 percent or 24,000 employees are particularly hard hit.

5.8 percent or 16,000 are on short-time work in metal production and processing. In construction, the non-seasonal share is 0.9 percent or 16,000 employees, in trade 0.4 percent or 17,000 people, and for all service providers together 0.1 percent or 16,000 employees.

In February 2022, the number was 803,000 short-time workers or 2.4 percent. At the peak during the corona crisis in April 2020, it was even six million or 17.8 percent. Short-time work is a kind of part-time unemployment, especially in the case of temporary shortages of orders. Employees receive short-time working allowance for the lost hours.