Companies in Germany used government support to compensate lost wages for a record 7.3 million employees in May, according to the Ifo Institute.
A state scheme designed to prevent widespread dismissals initially saw applications for more than 10 million workers in March and April. As companies fought to survive the economic fallout from the pandemic, 72% of their staff were ultimately sent home on partially or fully reduced hours, a survey showed.
At the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, the support measure was used for some 1.5 million workers. While the instrument has traditionally been drawn upon by the country’s manufacturers amid downturns in demand, about a third of the beneficiaries this time around were in the service sector, the report said.