German unemployment only saw a moderate rise since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, an unprecedented number of workers remain in short-time work schemes. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, however, unemployment rates are likely to rise. For those affected, unemployment imposes not only economic, but also social costs, which has been illustrated in a recent ZEW expert brief. “Policymakers should therefore give utmost priority to preventing unemployment in order to mitigate the severe social consequences,” says Dr. Laura Pohlan, a researcher in the “Labour Markets and Human Resources” Department at ZEW and co-author of the study.