Nearly 3.2 Million Germans Seek Employment Despite Inactivity

Thu 16th May, 2024

Image by Succo from PixabayIn Germany, approximately 3.2 million individuals aged between 15 and 74 expressed a desire to work but were not immediately available for the labor market in 2023. This group accounted for nearly 17 percent of all inactive individuals, according to data released by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Thursday. The previous year, this figure stood at 16 percent, or around three million people.

Breakdown of the Inactive Workforce

Within this "silent reserve," 372,000 individuals indicated they were seeking employment but were unable to start work at short notice, often due to caregiving responsibilities (Silent Reserve A). Another 945,000 people expressed a willingness to work and were available for the labor market but were not actively job hunting, often due to a belief that suitable employment was not available (Hidden Reserve B). The largest group, comprising 1.85 million people, were neither looking for work nor available at short notice but still desired employment (Silent Reserve C).

Gender Disparities in Workforce Inactivity

Women constituted a slight majority of the hidden reserve in 2023, making up 57 percent. Notably, in the 25 to 59 age group, 32 percent of women cited caregiving responsibilities as the primary reason for their inactivity, compared to only 4 percent of men. Health issues were a significant factor for both genders, affecting 35 percent of men and 20 percent of women in the silent reserve.

Qualifications Among the Inactive

Of those in the silent reserve, 58 percent had medium to high qualifications, defined as having completed vocational training or possessing a university entrance qualification. The data further revealed a gender disparity in educational qualifications: 61 percent of women in the silent reserve had medium to high qualifications, compared to 54 percent of men.

This data underscores the complex interplay of caregiving responsibilities, health issues, and job market perceptions in influencing labor market inactivity, highlighting potential areas for policy intervention to better integrate these individuals into the workforce.

Image by Succo from Pixabay


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