Unemployment benefits

The 2019 annual average for the number of persons receiving unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance was 267 885 (-6 477 or -2.4% compared to 2018). Due to the strong increase in unemployment since the beginning of the 1980s and because of the global economic and financial crisis since 2009 the number of people receiving benefits has undergone a huge increase, rising from 41 350 in 1980 to an all-time high in 2015 (314 178 recipients); due to economic recovery and decreasing unemployment the number of recipients is on the decrease too since then. In 2019 48% of beneficiaries received unemployment benefit, 52% unemployment assistance. In 1980 the ratio was 84% to 16%, i.e. as unemployment rose, the percentage of persons receiving unemployment assistance increased far more sharply than that of persons receiving unemployment benefit. The ratio in terms of male/female beneficiaries also shifted. In 1980 slightly more women than men drew benefits (51% against 49%), while by 2019 unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance was received by men and women in the ratio of 57% to 43%.

The average amount per day in 2019 was €32.81 in case of unemployment benefit and €27.01 in case of unemployment assistance. The gender-specific difference has decreased over time, but because of continuing differences in earnings, the average daily amount for women is still significantly lower than that for men: in 2019 the daily amount received by women was 84.3% (unemployment benefit) and 88.7% (unemployment assistance) respectively of that received by men, while in 1990 the figure was just 75.3% (unemployment benefit) and 76.8% (unemployment assistance) respectively.

Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.

Results (overview): Unemployment benefit and unemployment assistance


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