05 January 2010 17:33 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany’s chemicals and rubber industries still had more than 60,000 workers on government-subsidised short-time work as of end September, the country’s chemicals employers group, BAVC, said on Tuesday.
In chemicals alone, 19,179 workers were on short-time work, down from a peak of more than 47,000 in April, BAVC said while commenting on the latest available data from the country’s federal labour office, the Bundesagentur fuer Arbeit.
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In the rubber industry, there were 42,000 short-time workers as of September, BAVC added.
Overall, just over 1m German workers were on short-time work in September, compared with a peak of 1.5m in April, with the decline again primarily due to the summer vacation period.
Also, the agency was registering an increase in new applications for short-time work in November, compared with October, BAVC said.
Economists have warned that short-time work may mask the true extent of unemployment in
For applications filed from 1 January, short-time work will be subsidised for 18 months. While this is down from 24 months for applications filed before 1 January under a previous programme that expired on 31 December, it compares with the normal six-month period under German labour laws.
BAVC also said that despite the government’s help, short-time work was by no means a free ride for employers.
Costs for employers, estimated at €5.0bn ($7.2bn) for 2009, arose because the labour agency did not pay workers during vacation times and holidays, among other factors.
The unemployment rate was 8.2%, up by 0.4 points from 2008, with western
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