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Long-term unemployment at all time high

Long-term unemployment at all time high

Most cases of people being out of a job for more than a year are manual labourers needing medical treatment
Luxembourg's job agency ADEM
Luxembourg's job agency ADEM
Photo credit: Steve Eastwood

By Jörg Tschürtz and Kate Oglesby

Long-term unemployment in Luxembourg has reached a new high, the country’s job agency statistics chief has said, driven by people in manual labour such as construction who have have to retrain because of health problems.

The number of people unemployed for more than a year rose to 9,200 in March 2021 from 7,600 a year ago, according to job agency ADEM. It was the highest number ever, agency head Jean Ries said in an interview.

"The prospects for low-skilled workers who have been out of work for some time are currently not rosy," said Ries an interview with the Luxemburger Wort newspaper, published on Friday.

Often people are unemployed in the long-term because of health reasons, Reis said, mostly low-skilled workers who had to do heavy physical labour, such as construction workers or cleaners, developing bad knees or back.

Corona had not yet shown up as a reason for people being unemployed in the long term, even though the pandemic has made it harder to find a job.

“Since the virus arrived in Luxembourg a year ago, companies have become more hesitant and have in some cases severely cut back on recruiting,” he said. “The fight for vacancies has therefore become even tougher. Since many long-term unemployed people only have low qualifications, they usually lose out to better educated people.”

ADEM also cancelled online courses during the first lockdown last year, further hindering the job search for people out of work.

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