Kurzarbeit/Short Time Working: Experiences And Lessons From The Covid-Induced Downturn

B.H. Casey*, K. Mayhew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Following the covid-induced lockdowns, many commented on the role the German model of Kurzarbeit could play in reducing unemployment. Other countries emulated the model. Looking at the experiences of Germany, the UK, Sweden and the USA, the article analyses the strengths and weaknesses of short-time working (STW) schemes. It asks whether STW has been well designed to have optimal short and longer run impact. It is quite effective as a short-term palliative, but in longer downturns, its weaknesses come to the fore. It is by no means clear that the UK needs a permanent replacement for the furlough.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalNational Institute Economic Review
Early online date14 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • short-time working
  • lay-offs
  • unemployment insurance
  • training
  • covid


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