Labour market information

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Germany - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


The figures given for Germany and the individual federal states are based on the statistics of the Federal Employment Agency.

With 82.6 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.

Overall, the labour market has continued to develop positively in Germany. Unemployment fell in December compared to the same month last year.

Number of unemployed persons in December 2017: 2 384.961

Unemployment rate in December 2017: 5.3%

Year-on-year change: -7.1%

As at December 2017, according to figures from the Federal Employment Agency, employment in jobs subject to social security deductions had increased in West and East Germany compared with the same month in the previous year:

Number of people in jobs subject to social security deductions: 32.56 million.

Year-on-year change: + 711 000 / +2.2%

In December 2017, 72%, of the total of 32.56 million people in jobs subject to social security deductions worked full-time, while 28% worked part-time. The number of jobs subject to social security deductions is growing across all federal states, with the strongest growth rate (+4.2%) being again recorded in Berlin.

In the year-on-year comparison between sectors, the predominant picture was of growth across the board. The clearest increases in employment in December 2017 were in the sectors:

  • ICT (+5.0%)
  • real estate, professional, scientific and technical services (+4.4%)

Slight job losses were recorded in the sector:

manufacturing - production of predominantly consumer goods (-0.2%).


Text last edited on: 11/2018

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