German welfare recipients face more struggles to find jobs: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-11 21:48:59|Editor: ying
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BERLIN, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The recipients of "Hartz IV" government welfare in Germany are spending longer periods unemployed, German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse reported on Tuesday citing a statement from the federal labor office.

The group of those able to work who received such state funds were unemployed for 629 days on average last year, 74 days more (13.3 percent) than in 2011.

Sabine Zimmermann, head of the Left-party faction in the German federal parliament, had made a formal request for the information to be released.

"The lack of perspectives for Hartz IV recipients has worsened in the last years," Zimmermann told the Passauer Neue Presse.

For each employee at a German job center, there are around 130 long-term unemployed individuals above the age of 25.

The worrying figures concerning the length of welfare recipient's unemployment were released less than a week after a study by the Hans-Boeckler Foundation showed that the number of the working poor in Germany had doubled between 2004 and 2014.

According to the federal labor office, the German unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent in June 2017. German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles (SPD) saw the data as evidence that the domestic labor market was "full of opportunities."

While Germany's jobless rate is low in international and historic comparison, experts have warned that it glosses over deteriorating working conditions as a growing share of the labor force are employed in "mini-jobs" which offer low pay and little security.