German Companies Sign up Record 10.1m for State Salary Scheme

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German companies have applied for state aid to cover the salaries of a record 10.1 million people in the coronavirus crisis, the Federal Employment Agency reported on Thursday, citing data up to April 26.

That soars past the levels seen during the financial crisis of over a decade ago when the German government last turned to its short-time work scheme in a bid to prevent mass lay-offs.

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But not everyone was caught by the safety net this time around, as the agency reported 308,000 more unemployed people in April than the previous month.

This brings the total to 2.644 million, in the first such data to reflect the sweeping closures and restrictions introduced to combat the pandemic.

With that, Germany’s unemployment rate stood at 5.8 per cent, up from 5.1 per cent in March.

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