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Germany's labor productivity remains unaffected by pandemic

Jul 08, 2022

Berlin [Germany], July 8: Germany's labor productivity in the first quarter of 2022 rose by 0.7 percent year-on-year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Thursday.
Despite the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, overall labor productivity (measured as price-adjusted gross domestic product per hour worked) in Europe's biggest economy also increased in 2020 and 2021, Destatis said. Compared to pre-crisis levels in 2019, productivity was up 1.5 percent.
There were "considerable differences" in how economic sectors reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic, but material shortages and production slumps caused a temporary decline in the number of hours worked in most industries.
Labor input in Germany's manufacturing sector, for example, fell by 6.2 percent in 2020, according to Destatis. Because gross value added declined by 10 percent that year, labor productivity in Germany's manufacturing sector fell by 4.1 percent, before recovering by 3.3 percent in 2021.
The construction industry, on the other hand, was hardly affected by the pandemic initially, but saw a sharp loss in productivity in 2021 due to price increases and supply problems for input materials. Labor productivity in this sector is currently 1.2 percent above pre-crisis levels.
According to the Federal Employment Agency (BA), around 400,000 employees in Germany were still receiving cyclical short-time working benefits in April. The number of workers registered for short-time work allowances peaked at just under 6 million back in April 2020.
The share of people on short-time work, a government-financed scheme to avoid layoffs, reached its historic high of 29.2 percent in May 2020. More than half of the workforce in Germany's automobile industry was on short-time work during this period, according to Destatis.
Source: Xinhua