THE GERMAN WORK MARKET. SYMPTOMS OF IMPROVEMENT
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After a few years of meager economic growth - even marked by negative values - German economy has begun to regain vigor since the end of 2005. Improvement can be seen in the situation of public finances and a gradual sanation of the work market. Changes in the latter, however, encounter impediments due to some specific solutions adopted nationwide, such as: a particularly high share of pay accompanying costs, limited flexibility of the work market, or relatively good financial security of the unemployed. Systematically introduced reforms initiated by the Hartz Commission already in 2002 have brought slow but positive changes of the major indexes of utilizing the workforce potential. From 2005 onward there has been a reduction in the size of unemployment, and what is especially important, the process proceeds faster than in the new states of the Federation. It is noteworthy that the number of long-term unemployed has been reduced. However, the number of people who are satisfied with obtaining welfare benefits and do not show any readiness to take up paid employment is still too high.
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