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Germany / Low Wage Workers Dependent on Welfare Benefits

Germany’s low unemployment rate is the envy of much of Europe. Yet it masks the difficulties many working Germans have in making ends meet and their reliance on welfare benefits. The issue could become important as the election campaign heats up.

Despite Germany’s low unemployment rate, a growing number of the working poor in the country are not earning a living wage and are therefore in need of supplemental welfare payments, according to a newspaper report on Wednesday.

Citing data from the Federal Employment Agency, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the past four years have seen a steady increase in the number of individuals who require state money to get by despite working full- or part-time jobs.

The agency registered a 2012 average of 323,000 households in such situations — 20,000 more than in 2009. The figures were more striking for singles, showing a 38 percent increase over the same time period to 75,600.

The total number of employed recipients of welfare, which underwent a massive reform in Germany 10 years ago, has stayed about the same over the past four years at 1.3 million. Roughly half of those people had a so-called “mini-job” — one that pays so little it is exempt from social insurance contributions.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor


via Report Cites Rise in Low Wage Workers Dependent on Welfare Benefits – SPIEGEL ONLINE.


2 thoughts on “Germany / Low Wage Workers Dependent on Welfare Benefits

  1. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    There will always be some jobs that need to be done with human labor but will pay very little. At the same time, there will always be those who for one reason or another have few skills to offer.

    Posted by Mike | May 9, 2013, 8:19 am
  2. What are the reasons for the increase of employed workers receiving state benefits, especially during the last four years (given the change in welfare rules took effect 10 years ago)? And why the larger increase by single adults? Is it lack of education? Is it that many/some sector jobs that paid above poverty wages are gone or due to competition decreased wages & benefits? Just curious as to the why factor.


    Posted by Noel Radomski | May 9, 2013, 10:10 am

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