What is the cause of seasonal unemployment

Unemployment: Information for the unemployed in Germany

It is a topic that has become an integral part of media reporting: Unemployment in Germany affects all ages and levels of education.

In a nutshell: unemployment

What types of unemployment are there?

Unemployment is divided into different forms. The criteria for this classification are the underlying causes of unemployment. Read more about this here.

When do I get unemployment benefit 1 or 2?

In order to receive benefits such as unemployment benefit 1 or unemployment benefit 2, the unemployed must register with the Federal Employment Agency as jobseeker or unemployed.

Am I insured even though I am unemployed?

The insurance cover usually remains in place during the period of unemployment. Further information can be found here.

Specific information on unemployment:

Blocking period for unemployment benefits

How long is the unemployment blocking period? Answers are waiting for you in this article.

Unemployment benefit 2 (Hartz 4)

Who is entitled to Hartz 4 and how high are the benefits?

This is not simply because so many unemployed “have not learned anything decent” or are even “lazy and stupid”. Indeed, unemployment usually has far more complex causes.

In this guide we explain what exactly is meant by unemployment, what causes and consequences of unemployment are assumed by economists and social scientists and what employees should be aware of when they enter unemployment.

Unemployment: a definition

A definition of the term “unemployment” can be found in the third book of the social security code again. There it says in § 16 SGB III as follows:

(1) Unemployed people are those who are entitled to unemployment benefits

  1. are temporarily not in an employment relationship,
  2. are looking for an employment subject to compulsory insurance and are available to the placement efforts of the employment agency and
  3. have registered as unemployed with the employment agency.

(2) Participants in active labor market policy measures are not considered to be unemployed.

This definition serves as the legal basis for the entitlement to employment promotion by the Federal Employment Agency. But of course there is the phenomenon of unemployment hardly described in its complexity.

So, inter alia. between voluntary unemployment, in which people capable of work consciously and out of their own desire do not make their labor available for the labor market, and the involuntary unemployment can be distinguished.

In terms of the labor market, involuntary unemployment is considered to be an excess of labor supply over labor demand. In other words: there is more willing and able people to work than adequate jobsthat match their qualifications, knowledge and interests.

Types of unemployment

Be in economics different types of unemployment differed from each other. The main criterion here is the cause of the respective unemployment.

The individual forms are explained below:

  • Frictional unemployment: Fractional or search unemployment is mostly a short-term and temporary form of unemployment. It describes the period between the end of an activity and the start of a new one. Fractional unemployment can be started voluntarily, e.g. B. by self-resignation of the employee, or involuntarily by the employer dismissal. Graduates who go looking for a job after completing their studies also count as frictional unemployment.
  • Economic unemployment: Cyclical unemployment is a consequence of cyclical fluctuations in macroeconomic development. In a downturn in the economy, a large number of workers are laid off because, for example, companies cannot sell their products. The Federal Employment Agency tries to prevent this type of unemployment by paying short-time work benefits.
  • Seasonal unemployment: This form of unemployment is caused by seasonal fluctuations in demand in certain fields of work. So there is z. B. in winter, due to the weather, there is often a lower demand in the construction industry or in agriculture. Seasonal unemployment usually disappears again in the course of the year.
  • Residue unemployment: Base or base unemployment describes unemployment that cannot be reduced even under the most favorable economic conditions. It arises primarily from the fact that not every unemployed person takes up any free activity because he is either unwilling to do so or not qualified for it. Even hard-to-place workers, such as people with health problems or people shortly before retirement age, fall into the category of residual unemployment. It is generally considered to be unavoidable, as a certain percentage of unemployed in a society can never be completely prevented.
  • Structural unemployment: This is a mostly long-term form of unemployment. It arises when the demand for labor decreases due to fundamental and lasting structural changes in individual branches of the economy. This is explained in more detail in the next subsection.
Since unemployment can have more than one cause, the categories are not exclusively, but can also occur in combination under certain circumstances.

The forms of structural unemployment

Structural unemployment is caused by a Imbalance between labor supply and labor demandwhich in turn is caused by lasting changes in the structures of individual economic areas. Depending on the nature of this structural change, a distinction is made between different types of structural unemployment:

  • Characteristic structural unemployment: This form of unemployment is due to the differences between the characteristics of the unemployed and the demands of the job. This includes B. when an unemployed person does not have the qualifications required for the job.
  • Sectoral unemployment: The causes of sectoral unemployment are to be found in the shrinking or limited growth of a certain economic sector. This is e.g. This is the case, for example, when the agricultural economy of a society decreases while its service sector grows at the same time. Since it is often impossible or difficult to move from one sector to the other due to a lack of qualifications, the loss of jobs in the weaker sector results in unemployment.
  • Technological unemployment: Technological unemployment arises from increasing automation in many areas of work. Technological progress allows many companies to replace workers with machines. Their acquisition is usually cost-intensive, but it usually pays for itself quickly for companies due to the savings in wage costs and an increase in productivity.
  • Institutional unemployment: This form of unemployment is caused by social and labor law conditions. This includes For example, when low wages and high unemployment benefits do not provide an incentive for the unemployed to take up an activity with which they cannot secure their livelihood.
  • Regional unemployment: In some regions there is an oversupply of certain occupations, while in other areas these are urgently needed. This results in regional unemployment, which is reinforced by the fact that many unemployed are unable or unwilling to move to another region in order to take up a job. It occurs mainly in structurally weak areas.

What does hidden unemployment mean?

In addition to all of these forms of unemployment, the media sometimes also use the term of covert or hidden unemployment on. In contrast to the categories discussed above, this term is not defined according to the cause of unemployment.

Because hidden unemployment ultimately describes nothing other than the proportion of unemployment that statistically not recorded becomes. This includes unemployed people who have not registered as unemployed with the authorities. They form the so-called "hidden reserve".

The non-registration can different reason to have. Some of those affected consider it superfluous to register their unemployment because they do not promise anything from the official employment agency or they are not entitled to benefits, such as B. Unemployment Benefit.

But also Participants in job creation measures or ordered retraining are often part of hidden unemployment. These people do not appear in the unemployment statistics even though they are not in work.

Economic theory names various causes of unemployment

The distinction between the different types of unemployment shows that they are more than just a cause may have. In addition, the various causes are not mutually exclusive, but can occur in parallel or even influence one another.

To explain the reasons for unemployment, pursues economic theory different explanations. So z. B. the Keynesian theory unemployment is due to a lack of demand for goods and services. This is due to the fact that by paying lower wages to the employees as well their purchasing power going back.

Another explanation is the neoclassical. He sees the causes of unemployment in government restrictions on the labor market. These include, above all, legal regulations that prohibit companies from reduce labor costssuch as B. Minimum wages.

Some scientists also see the main cause of unemployment in the global competition, in the Tax burdens for employers, in the technical progress or in the lack of flexibility on the part of workers.

These are the consequences of unemployment

Has unemployment numerous effects on a society: The gross domestic product and tax revenues decrease, while social costs such as the payment of unemployment benefits and unemployment benefits rise at the same time.

It can also have a high unemployment rate social peace and political stability endanger a country. Because with rising unemployment there is sometimes also increasing poverty, which can lead to increased crime and increasing displeasure among the population. This can provide the breeding ground for extremist political currents.

But also for the individual employee unemployment can have negative consequences that should not be underestimated. Here are some of the possible effects on those affected:

  • financial losses and possibly impoverishment
  • psychological consequences such as self-doubt, hopelessness and resignation
  • health problems such as depression, high blood pressure, increased blood lipid levels, addictions, increased risk of heart attack, etc.
  • increased risk of death
  • Dequalification: the acquired qualification loses its value
  • Loss of social prestige
  • Breaking off social contacts
  • social and cultural isolation
  • Stigmatization as "social parasite"
  • Discrimination
  • increased risk of suicide
  • lack of possibility of identity development through work in the case of youth unemployment
  • no possibility of self-realization through work

Even employees who have a job are negatively affected by unemployment. So remain employees for fear of itNot finding a new job, often in their job, even when dealing with this one dissatisfied are.

This enables employers to create unfair working conditions or even to violate statutory provisions of labor law, as the employees do not dare to defend themselves and so possibly risk a termination.

What strategies can be used to fight unemployment?

Eliminating unemployment is one important goal of labor market policy. To do this, she pursues various strategies, which are briefly presented at this point.

  1. Increase in demand for labor: This strategy aims to increase the demand for goods and services so that companies need to hire more workers to meet the demand. Attempts are made to achieve this with various instruments, such as B. lowering taxes, state subsidies or improving production conditions.
  2. Reduction in the number of employees: This means that the number of willing and able people on the labor market should be reduced. This z. B. the extension of school and study times, the possibility of early retirement or the reintegration of immigrants in their country of origin.
  3. Balancing the labor market: These include measures to promote training and further education, an increase in the transparency of the labor market and the assessment of wage replacement benefits at a level that makes it worthwhile to take up a low-paid job. People who are unemployed and want to become self-employed receive z. B. Business start-up grants and grants.

Unemployment - What do you have to consider as an employee?

But what exactly is to be done when unemployment arises despite all political solution strategies can not be avoided? Employees who suddenly lose their job are often shocked at first. You fear Poverty and the loss of their social position and feel helpless.

If you find yourself in such a situation, the first thing you should be aware of is unemployment no shame is. As we explained above in the guide, there are a number of causes of unemployment that you as an employee sometimes have little or no control over.

Plus, in most cases, you have Entitlement to social or insurance benefits and therefore usually do not have to worry about losing your job completely penniless to stand there.

Remember to register as a jobseeker

The first thing you should do is contact the Federal Employment Agency register as jobseeker. You can do this in person, in writing or by telephone. The website of the Federal Employment Agency also offers the option of registering online as a jobseeker.

Registration must at least 3 months before the end of your employment relationship happen. If you found out later that you were going to be unemployed, you should within three days Sign in. This can be the case if your employer has a notice period of less than three months.

If you are working on a fixed-term contract, you should find out in good time whether your employer intends to hire you after the contract has expiredto keep busy, or whether you will be unemployed afterwards. Therefore, ask for an interview with your boss at least three months before the end of the contract.

Contact us delayed As a job seeker, a blocking period of one week can be imposed when you become unemployed, during which you no unemployment benefit receive.

Once you find out that you will be unemployed, you should already looking for a job. View the job advertisements and send unsolicited applications. The employment agency can support you with this. With a little luck, you will have found a new job before your old employment relationship even ends.

Entry into unemployment: register as unemployed

Your employment ends and you still have no new position found, you are considered unemployed. Again, this is neither a reason to be ashamed nor to despair.

Your first step as unemployed leads you again to the employment agency. You must register here at the latest on the first day after the end of your employment relationship register as unemployed. The documents you should bring with you for this are

  • Your identity card or a passport with confirmation of registration, residence permit and work permit
  • Your social security card
  • the letter of termination and / or the employment contract from your previous employment
  • your CV

Registering your unemployment is an important requirement for you Receive unemployment benefit can. You will receive the application for this directly from the Employment Agency. You can also fill it out online on their website.

By the way, even if you are unemployed, do a mini job and still get benefits. Occasionally, however, this can affect the amount of unemployment benefit.

Unemployment benefit 1 and unemployment benefit 2: what's the difference?

Unemployment benefits exist in two versions: ALG I and ALG II. The latter is often also known as "Hartz IV". Although the names of the two services are very similar, they are fundamentally different.

The first difference is in the service provider: ALG I is one Insurance benefit statutory labor insurance. ALG II, on the other hand, is state-financed Social benefitwhich is paid by the job center.

The requirements for entitlement to the respective benefit are derived from this: In order to be able to draw ALG I, you must have at least twelve months in the two years before you become unemployed Employed subject to compulsory insurance have been and meanwhile paid into unemployment insurance to have. ALG II, on the other hand, is generally available to all citizens whose Income is not enoughto cover daily living.

As a result, you can apply for ALG II even if you have a job but your salary does as a basic security is not sufficient. Whether there is actually a need for help is checked carefully before the application is approved by determining your assets or the assets of your benefit community.

There are also differences in the subscription period: While ALG I is paid for a maximum of one year (in exceptional cases two years), ALG II can be drawn for as long as there is a need for assistance.

Last but not least is also the amount of both benefits different. ALG I is calculated based on your last net wage and amounts to 60 percent of this or 67 percent if you have children for whom you receive child benefit. In the case of ALG II, the same applies fixed rule rates.

The following table you can see how high the Rule sets currently fail:

Standard requirement levelApplies toStandard rate in euros
1Single / single parents446
2Couples / benefit communities401
4Young people from 13 to under 18 years373
5Children from 6 to under 13 years309
6Children from 0 to under 6 years283

In addition to the standard rate, ALG II also the cost of rent and heating reimbursed for adequate housing. These payments are calculated based on the actual costs in each individual case.

Unemployed: The health insurance remains in place

A common question about unemployment is about health insurance. As a rule, anyone who is registered as unemployed is still legally obligedto insure yourself. Only under certain conditions it may be possible to withdraw from the compulsory insurance to free allow.

If you become unemployed, you will continue to be insured with your health insurance company in the health and long-term care insurance. As a rule, it is possible to do one at this point in time as well as at a later point in time to switch to another health insurance companyif that's what you want.

If you receive unemployment benefits and statutory health insurance the Federal Employment Agency (for ALG I) or the job center (for ALG II) pays the contributions, including the additional contributions for each individual health insurance fund. This also applies during a blocking period from unemployment benefits. As an unemployed person, you will keep yours full insurance coverageas long as you are receiving benefits.

Are you privately insured, takes over when receiving ALG I the employment agency the payment of the private health insurance premium - but only up to the amount that would have to be paid for a statutory health insurance company. In case you younger than 55 years are old, you can apply to return to the statutory health insurance.


Instead, get ALG II and are privately insured, the job center pays half of the contribution for the basic PKV tariff. In this case, it is not possible to apply to switch to statutory health insurance. But you can in the basic PKV tariff switch.

Unemployed and sick - this must be taken into account

As long as you are registered as unemployed, it means your workforce available to the labor market must stand. However, you will during unemployment ill, that is not possible.

In that case, you already have to on the first day of your illness Report to the employment agency and state how long you are likely to be ill. On the third day at the latest, a certificate of incapacity for work from the doctor must be presented to your clerk.

During your illness you will receive for up to six weeks further unemployment benefits. Thereafter there is usually a right to Sick pay from your health insurance company.

How does unemployment work with children?

Are you unemployed and have children, it can be difficult at times. Because in order to be able to receive benefits, you have to be available to the labor market. This means that you may need to be able to, even in the short term, To keep appointments - be it job interviews or job placement measures.

Do you have a partner who can look after the children or the children leave to school or daycare, this can usually be done without major problems.

However, if you are a single parent or if your partner is at work all day and your children are not yet of school age, you may the care difficult become.

If you are still on parental leave while you are unemployed, you can continue to receive unemployment benefit with peace of mind - regardless of whether you are receiving ALG I or ALG II - even though you are not available for an employment agency.

Otherwise, however, you will have to find a childcare solution or you may get the Services denied can be. Advice at the job center can be helpful here.

Are you unemployed and pregnant and the pregnancy is unproblematic and risk-free, stay up to six weeks before the expected due date in the employment agency of the job center. Eight weeks after the appointment, you can return to the labor market if you do not take parental leave.

By the way: For children of legal age who have not yet reached the age of 21, there is also Entitlement to child benefitwhen they are unemployed. Again, it is important that those affected stay out of work during their unemployment looking for work on time Report.

Unemployed: Are you entitled to vacation?

The unemployed do not have a statutory vacation entitlement, as is the case in an employment relationship. Still, you can too travel while unemployed and while you continue to receive unemployment benefits.

However, one important prerequisite applies here: The employment agency must Approve your absence. To do this, you must submit an application for an absence from the location for the duration of your vacation within one week of the start of your journey. The disadvantage here is that the unemployed are usually just like that just before the start of their planned trip to find out whether they are allowed to leave at all.

A longer application period is usually not possible, as otherwise the employment agency cannot predict whether the unemployed person will be absent delay work would. Because if the planned vacation falls z. B. together with an interview or further training, the unemployed must take advantage of this and his absence from the location is not approved.

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Unemployment: Information for the unemployed in Germany
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