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Number of persons in employment in Germany increased to 43 million

Staff writer |
On an annual average in 2015, roughly 43 million persons resident in Germany were in employment. The number of persons in employment in 2015 was higher by 324,000, or 0.8%, than in the previous year.

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This is according to first provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The growth in employment, which has been observed for over 10 years, continued - although in 2015 the increase was slightly smaller than in 2014 (+0.9%).

The total number of persons in employment has now reached the highest level since German reunification. Higher labour force participation of the domestic population and the immigration of foreign workers offset negative demographic effects.

As provisional estimates based on the labour force survey show, the number of unemployed people (according to the internationally comparable definition) in Germany declined by 140,000 (–6.7%) on an annual average in 2015, year on year. This means that it was below 2 million for the first time since German reunification.

The active labour force available in the labour market, defined as the total of persons in employment and unemployed persons, increased by 184,000 (+0.4%) to 44.9 million in the same period. The unemployment rate, which represents unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force, was down from 4.7% to 4.3%, as calculated on this basis.

The unemployment rate in Germany thus was just under half of the EU average rate. This means that, again, Germany was less affected by unemployment than any other EU Member State.

Those who benefitted most from the continuing positive trend in the German labour market were the employees. The number of employees resident in Germany increased by 421,000 (+1.1%) to 38.7 million on an annual average in 2015. The number of self-employed including family workers decreased by 97,000 (–2.2%) to 4.3 million in the same period.

Among employees, the number of persons subject to social insurance contributions increased again, whereas the number of marginally employed people (persons in marginal or short-term employment and those in job opportunities – so-called one-euro jobs) continued to decrease. The trend of the previous years thus continued.

According to the first provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office, the number of persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany amounted to slightly more than 43 million for the first time on an annual average in 2015. This was an increase of 329,000 (+0.8%) compared with a year earlier.

The difference between the number of persons in employment who are resident in Germany and the number of those whose place of employment is in Germany can be explained by the balance of non-residents working in Germany and residents working abroad. On an annual average in 2015, the number of non-residents working in Germany was by 68,000 higher than the number of residents working abroad, according to first provisional calculations.

When examined by economic sectors, the year-on-year increase in the number of persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany in 2015 was largest in the service branches (+341,000 people, or +1.1%).

There, the largest gains were recorded for business services (+145,000 persons in employment, or +2.6%), followed by public services, education, health (+128,000 people, or +1.3%) and trade, transport, accommodation and food services (+79,000 people, or +0.8%).

In industry (excluding construction), the number of persons in employment was up by 16,000 (+0.2%) in 2015. In construction, the number of persons in employment was slightly down for the first time in six years, that is, by an average of 12,000 people (–0.5%) and in agriculture, forestry and fishing it decreased by 16,000 (–2.5%) on an annual average in 2015.