LMI of DE0


With 82.8 million inhabitants, Germany has the fourth-largest national economy and industrial base in the world. The overwhelming majority of German businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises. A total of 61 % of the workforce in Germany works in these small and medium-sized enterprises. In 2016, Germany was the world’s third largest export nation, behind the United States and China.

In December, 33.32 million people were registered employees subject to social security contributions according to the extrapolation, without seasonal adjustment, of the Federal Employment Agency. Year on year, this represented an increase of 708 000 or 2.2 %. Compared with the previous year, the number of people in full-time employment subject to social security contributions rose by 403 000 or 1.7 % in December and the number of people in part-time employment subject to social security contributions rose by 304 000 or 3.3 %.

In all federal states, the number of jobs subject to social security contributions increased year on year. The highest growth rate by far was in Berlin (+3.7 %). The smallest increases were recorded in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia (+0.5 % in each case).

Unemployment fell from January to February by 33 000 or 1 % to 2 373 000 or 5.3 %. On average over the last 3 years in February it has fallen by 16 000 or 1 %.

In comparison to the previous year, the number of unemployed people in February fell by 173 000 or 7 %, after ‑165 000 or ‑6 % in January.

Unemployment in eastern Germany fell to a slightly greater extent than in western Germany. In eastern Germany it fell by 9 % to 591 000. Year on year, in western Germany unemployment fell by 6 % to 1 782 000. The greatest percentage drop in unemployment across Germany was recorded in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein. The smallest reduction in unemployment was in Bremen.

On the basis of the entire civilian labour force, the unemployment rate in February was 5.3 %. In comparison with the previous year, it has fallen by 0.4 percentage points. The rate in eastern Germany, at 7.0 %, was higher than in western Germany (4.9 %). However, the gap between these rates has reduced by a considerable amount in recent years. In comparison with the previous year, the rate fell by 0.7 percentage points in eastern Germany and by 0.4 percentage points in western Germany.

At state level, the lowest unemployment rates were in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg; the highest was in Bremen.

With seasonal adjustment, the number of reported available vacancies rose by 1 000 in February. Without seasonal adjustment there were 784 000 vacancies, which represented 20 000 or 3 % more than last year. A total of 92 % of the reported vacancies were to be filled immediately.

The number of jobs had a relatively high turnover rate. The number of job entrants, which is a better indicator of companies’ willingness to recruit than the number of jobs, also fluctuates at a high level, but turned out to be weaker than in the previous year. With adjustment for the season and time of year, this volatile indicator remained static in February. Without adjustment, in February 224 000 available jobs were reported, down 8 000 or 4 % on the previous year. In the moving annual total from March 2018 to February 2019, which adjusts for seasonal and random fluctuations, entrants fell by 101 000 or 4 % year on year to 2 312 000. In February 64 %, and in the moving annual total 66 %, of the newly reported vacancies were to be filled immediately.

198 000 vacancies were de-registered in February, 2 000 or 1 % lower than the previous year. In the moving annual total, there were 2 287 000 departures from the labour market, 24 000 or 1 % less than the period for the previous year, including 5 % before the jobs became vacant. The average time to fill a vacancy increased by 13 days to 114 days year on year in the moving annual period. The longer vacancy times attest to the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to fill positions. Although it is not possible to talk about a general lack of workers or specialist workers, there are clear strains and shortages in some technical occupational categories, in building trades and in medical and care professions.

© Statistics from the Federal Employment Agency – February 2019


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