Children and youth at Hartz IV: every sixth child in Leipzig still lives in a community in need – News from Leipzig

In a way, unemployment rates and poverty rates are related. But not directly. Unemployment does not affect everyone equally. Well-trained and highly qualified people are less likely to become unemployed than people who work in low-paying jobs. Statistics reveal something else: families with children depend on state assistance more than the average working population.

which has reasons. One of the main reasons is the common thinking in Germany about how to organize work – that is, to be as flexible, mobile and always ready as possible. So the work does not end with the official closing time.

Entire industries expect their employees to work overtime and be on-call. This is also a reason why women are not often found in many of these higher paying jobs. Because this world of work is ultimately incompatible with childcare.

These are statistics that Paul M. Schroeder of the Bremen Institute for Labor Market Research and Employment Assistance for Youth (BIAJ) regularly collects about children and youth at Hartz IV.

Of course, these young people appear in the job center statistics when their parents are either unemployed or earning too little to make ends meet without job center benefits.

Slight improvement in Saxony

It should be noted that Saxony and Leipzig have not been in the first group for years. It has been overtaken by other states and federal cities in SGB II quotas for children and youth in recent years. But also in Saxony and Leipzig, the SGB II rates for children and youth are much higher than the official unemployment rates.

Comparison of SGB II rates between major German cities.  Graphic: BIAJ
Comparison of SGB II rates between major German cities. Graphic: BIAJ

The basis of the calculation is different. The unemployment rate refers to all employees, and SGB II rates for children and youth refer to all children and youth in the respective coverage area.

But at least very similar numbers should come out of it. But they don’t.

For example, the unemployment rate of 6.0 percent in Leipzig is still 16.6 percent for children and youth in needy communities.

It’s similar in Saxony: with an official unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, Schroeder calculates the SGB II rate for children and youth at 10.5 per cent.

This already indicates that the problem is greater in major cities than in rural areas.

Big city problem?

The dramatic drop in unemployment in Saxony since 2010 has long led to more single parents finding work. This has also significantly reduced the share of SGB II for children and young people – from more than 25 percent in Leipzig to 16.6 percent by the end of 2021.

With this 16.6 percent, Leipzig is now in a better position than many large western German cities. While Leipzig was at the top of this ranking with Berlin, the city now ranks only 11th among major German cities, and now has Frankfurt (17.6 percent), Dusseldorf (17.8 percent) and Hamburg (18.9 percent). left behind.

Essen, with 30.6 percent, and Duisburg, 30.3 percent, have long been at the helm of this big city. It also tells us how bad the lack of well-paid jobs for fathers is in these cities in particular and how entire families are slipping into poverty due to the lack of equal opportunities for them.

Of the 400 registered regions and cities, Leipzig comes only 68th, so like almost all cities, it ends up quite far in this area. Which also tells us about the fact that today social problems are increasingly concentrated in big cities, which, on the one hand, fuel hopes of getting a job (well-paid) and on the other hand do not pay much attention to the needs of families.

Young families are moving away from rural areas, which means that the number of unemployed people with children is declining there, and with it the number of children in needy communities.

When poverty is inherited

In turn, they allow these numbers to rise in major cities. So it appears that Leipzig, ranked 68th – clearly negative – has recognized the problems that no longer exist in the district of Erzgeberg (6.1 percent, ranked 304). Or she doesn’t seem to have it anymore.

Because it now lacks the children, youth and trainees that Leipzig could have without being able to end discrimination against the family in the labor market.

So it is not the problems of the big cities, but the problems of the whole country, the whole Federal Republic, which still does not want to see the silent discrimination of families. Because, as a rule, reliance on SGB II also means that the chances of affected children are drastically worse even in school and that they themselves grow into lives in poor conditions.

Because of course these families have no barrier to giving children special support at school or even while they are studying. This is how poverty is inherited.

And only to a limited extent, the growing shortage of skilled workers in the labor market means that more families with children can say goodbye to job center care.

This is z. B. In all-German figures, which Schroeder interprets as follows: “According to the population update of the Federal Statistical Office, there were 13.863 million children and young people under 18 years of age living in the Federal Republic of Germany at the end of 2021 (end of 2020: 13.744 million). According to statistics The Federal Employment Agency, in December 2021, a total of 1.759 million children (unmarried) and young people living in families who were dependent on SGB II benefits for their livelihoods (Hartz IV), officially: ‘in SGB II communities need.’ (December 2020: 1.849 million) ).”

So there are more children and young people – but their number in needy communities is dropping slightly. Not really enough to fix the problem.

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