Increasing number of Germans unable to live off their jobs | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.05.2013
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Increasing number of Germans unable to live off their jobs

Fresh data from Germany's Federal Employment Agency (BA) has indicated that the number of people unable to make ends meet with their wages is increasing steadily. The state helps out with top-up benefits.

Referring to statistics provided by the Nuremberg-based Federal Employment Agency (BA), Germany's "Süddeutsche Zeitung" newspaper on Wednesday said more and more employees in Europe's biggest economy were not in a position to live from their wages alone.

The data revealed that the number of workers dependent on top-up benefits from the welfare state had been on the rise in recent years.

The report noted that in 2012 there was a total of 323,000 households in the country receiving such top-up benefits despite having a regular gross monthly income of over 800 euros ($1,050).

Campaign issue

The figure marked a rise by 20,000 people from the levels recorded back in 2009. Single-person households were affected most, with a 38-percent rise recorded for people depending on additional benefits to make ends meet.

The overwhelming proportion of workers affected worked in the retail sector as well as in the health and social services industries.

Germany's opposition Social Democrats viewed the figures as proof for the legitimacy of their demand to introduce a minimum wage in the country across all industries and sectors of the economy. The proposal has been a central pillar of the SPD's policies ahead of a general election in September.

hg/msh (dpa, epd)