BERLIN, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The German Federal Employment Agency (BA) paid less unemployment benefits than originally budgeted for due to the decline in unemployment, the government agency announced on Tuesday.
Valerie Holsboer, head of Finance and Human Resources at the German Federal Employment Agency, said on Tuesday that "the positive development on the labor market has led to significantly lower expenditures during the year."
BA achieved a surplus of 6.2 billion euros (7.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the 2018 financial year, much higher than 2.5 billion euros surplus expected by the agency for the year.
The big financial surplus is primarily due to the high demand for labor, which led to record employment numbers in Germany.
A large part of the surplus will go to the financial reserves of the BA, which will increase to a total of 23.5 billion euros, according to the German employment agency.
In 2018, there were about 44.8 million people in employment in Germany, 562,000 more than in the previous year, also leading to an increase in social insurance contributions, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced in early January.
Building on a solid financial basis as well as healthy German economy, the employment agency BA expects that 2019 will be "a year of opportunities". Holsboer added that "our budget is providing important impulses for further training and qualification".