Düsseldorf Bankruptcies, short-time workers, fears and worries: The new Corona dashboard in North Rhine-Westphalia shows not only current infection figures, but also information on economic and social aspects of the crisis. Data on the economy and social issues were gathered from various sources.
The most populous federal state represents around 20 percent of the total population of Germany and an equally large share of economic output. These are the most important findings from the data:
Over 200,000 applications for emergency aid were approved in the service sector in NRW. Just under half of these were freelancers. The second largest recipient of emergency aid was the retail sector with more than 45,000 approved applications, followed by handicrafts.
Solo self-employed persons could receive up to 9,000 euros in non-repayable aid from the state government. For applicants with up to ten employees it was 15,000 euros, for up to 50 employees there was even 25,000 euros.
Six billion euros in KfW loans went to NRW companies
In addition to emergency aid, companies were also able to apply for loans from the KfW development bank. The money house paid 6.4 billion euros to a total of 13,435 applicants. On average, the companies borrowed EUR 476,000 from the development bank.
However, Ceconomy, the parent company of Media Markt and Saturn, based in Düsseldorf, alone received around 1.7 billion euros from the KfW pot. Thyssen-Krupp also received around one billion euros. As of the end of May, the development bank had approved a total of EUR 24 billion in loans across Germany.
A look at the death statistics shows that the deaths in spring 2020 are slightly higher than in recent years. While around 16,000 deaths were recorded in April from 2016 to 2019 on average, in April there were more than 17,700. However, the coronavirus cannot approach the serious flu year 2018: Back then, more than 24,000 people died in March. That is around 5,000 more people than this year.
More employees than ever before affected by bankruptcies
In the time series from January 2017 to the present day, the corona crisis shows a significant increase in the number of employees affected by insolvency: there were over 7,000 in March 2020.
At the height of the corona crisis, in April 2020 employers in North Rhine-Westphalia applied for short-time work for 1.6 million employees. At the same time, around 27,000 jobs were cut in April, while only 15,700 new jobs were created. The number of job vacancies dropped to 119,000 in May. This is the lowest value since the start of the series in January 2017.
Traffic collapses by more than 60 percent at the end of March, so far there is hardly any normalization
At the height of the infection at the end of March, the main thing was to stay at home. Many residents of NRW have apparently adhered to this. At the peak, car traffic fell 64 percent in the last week of March compared to the same period in 2018. Since then, street traffic has normalized with one exception in mid-April, reflecting a further sharp increase in the number of infections over the same period could lie.
It is still much quieter on the streets: In the last week of June, traffic was 28 percent below the comparative value from 2018. Since the beginning of the crisis, an average of 45 percent fewer cars have been driving on NRW’s roads.
Hardly any passengers in the Düsseldorf hub in April
In April the bar of the passenger numbers sank so far that it can hardly be read: only 19,000 passengers traveled through the Düsseldorf hub. In March there were still 707,000 and in the same period of the previous year, i.e. in March 2019, more than two million passengers. The small Münster-Osnabrück airport had the least to do. Only 29 passengers were handled here in April.
Training market still unsaturated
For years, training companies and apprentices have hardly found each other. Since September 2017 there have been more and more job vacancies per month. The peak in October 2019 left over 11,000 vacancies. The corona crisis has done little to change that. Over the entire first quarter of 2020, the job surplus was around 8,000. In May the difference then decreased to 5,000 jobs, however in spring the training relationships that are supposed to start after the summer holidays are traditionally closed.
Primary school pupils returned almost entirely to schools
Pupils have only been able to return to school since April 27th. Until the end of June, however, this was only really successful for the youngest: elementary school pupils have returned to school almost completely and are being taught there in face-to-face classes. A clear difference to all other school classes: Regardless of the type of school, no school had a student share of more than 30 percent by mid-June. Since June 15th, half of the special schools have been filled again. But only briefly: Summer holidays have been in NRW since this week.
Less fear of infection, growing fear of existence
In particular, economic worries remain unchanged: Since around April, the proportion of those who are worried about economic (collateral) damage (or very big) about 8,000 respondents has barely decreased: namely from 50 (29) to 46 percent (30 percent) . Also in May, more respondents assume that their economic situation will deteriorate somewhat or significantly: namely 34 percent (12 percent), as opposed to 31 percent (10 percent) in the previous month.
Fewer people are sure to worry about being infected with the corona virus: only 23 percent fear the virus in May. In April, only 31 percent of those surveyed were worried about a possible infection.
More: Read all developments in the corona crisis in the news blog.