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German Labor Agency Needs 25,000 New Workers

Germany's Federal Labor Agency will need nearly 25,000 new employees to handle the government's labor market reforms, according to media reports. Labor Agency board member Heinrich Alt reportedly told a parliamentary committee that merging unemployment and welfare benefits as is planned would require 24,200 additional workers. But a spokesman for the Labor Agency told the DPA news agency the figure was only "theoretical" in nature and would only occur if local authorities, which used to be responsible for welfare recipients, did not offer any personnel to take some of the workload. The German Labor Ministry has said most of the estimated 40,000 benefit caseworkers' positions would be filled by moving existing employees instead of hiring new people.