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November 06, 2009

How Germany kept unemployment low: "FunEMPLOYMENT"

Everything is a matter of perception and how you present your ummm...."alternate truth":

...Business wasn't going well for Schneider, a mid-sized company in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, at the beginning of the year. But the company, which manufactures camera lenses and filters, did not lay off any of its workers. Instead, it put 230 employees onto a short-time working program, including Dirk Christian, a technical supervisor in a final assembly plant.

Christian, 33, took advantage of his free time to renovate his apartment -- and to get married. "Short-term work prevents layoffs," says Christian, "which, of course, makes it easier to make important life decisions, like getting married."

Germany currently has 1.1 million workers participating in short-time working programs, known in German as Kurzarbeit.
They include people like Christian, who don't have enough work, but who also are nevertheless not being let go. They stay at home for days or even weeks at a time, and yet they receive 80 to 90 percent of their wages, thanks to subsidies paid by the Federal Employment Agency...






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