The german federal employment agency (BA) has closed or merged 54 offices over the past ten years.
Nine new business positions have been created. This is the result of a response from the agency to a question from the labor market policy spokeswoman of the left-wing parliamentary group, sabine zimmermann, which was made available to the deutsche presse-agentur. During the mergers, the service offering was transferred to the next main agency and concentrated there.
"The closure of sites usually means a longer journey and thus a deterioration in the quality of service. The majority of the regions affected are rural and have rather poor local public transport," criticized zimmermann.
However, the politician told dpa that employees, the unemployed and employers could expect good and fast access to the employment agency for their contributions. In view of the currently good financial situation of the BA and the looming economic downturn, it would be irresponsible to close down business positions.
The BA rejected the criticism. Only in individual cases had the smallest offices been merged because the number of customer visits there had dropped sharply, a spokesman for the agency explained.
In addition, online offers and telephone accessibility, which were increasingly requested by job seekers, replaced the offers of the agencies, according to the spokesman. According to the federal employment agency, the highest number of new jobs has been created in the district of the regional directorate of saxony-anhalt/thuringia, with nine new jobs created since 2009. The BA currently maintains around 750 employment agencies throughout germany, 156 of which are main agencies.