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The jobless are more frequently affected by poverty than the average of the total population. Whereas in 2005, 49.6 per cent of all jobless people were living below the poverty line, this proportion had risen by 2008 to 56 per cent. After a brief dip, the proportion of poor jobless rose by 2013 to 58.7 per cent. In 2014 the figure dropped down by 1.1 percentage points to 57.6 per cent, but went up again by 2015 to 59.0 per cent, the peak to date. In 2016 the proportion of jobless affected by poverty declined to 56.9 percentage points, but amounted to 57.2 per cent in 2017. This means the poverty rate among the jobless has increased by 7.6 percentage points in the last twelve years.

The poverty rate among the gainfully employed shows that paid work does not always protect against poverty. The percentage of gainfully employed people who are poor despite having a job – known as the working poor – rose only slightly, albeit continually by and large, between 2006 and 2017. Thus the poverty rate among the gainfully employed has risen between 7.1 and 7.8 per cent in the last ten years, amounting to a constant level of about half the rate in the total population.

Until 2011 the data were based on the census in 1987. Since then the census 2011 has been used for the calculations. Therefore, data before and after 2011 are not fully comparable.

Further explanations:

Labour status (ILO definition): the gainfully employed are all those who in the report week worked at least one hour for which they were paid. This also includes everyone who temporarily did not work owing to sickness, maternity leave or parerntal leave. The jobless are all those actively seeking work and could start a job within two weeks. Whether they are registered unemployed is irrelevant.


Amtliche Sozialberichterstattung des Bundes und der Länder (Official System Of Social Reporting)


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