Labour market information

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Germany - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


With 81 million inhabitants, Germany has the fourth-largest national economy and industrial base in the world. Well over 90 % of all German companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for two-thirds of all jobs and more than half of Germany’s economic output. In 2014, Germany again came third behind China and the United States in terms of foreign trade.

In late summer 2015, trends on the labour market continued to be favourable. According to the Federal Employment Agency, after allowing for seasonal fluctuations, both unemployment and under-employment fell in August, and employment continued to grow. There is still solid demand on the labour market.

Number of unemployed in August 2015: 2 796 597

Unemployment rate in August 2015: 6.4 %

Year-on-year change: 0.3 %

According to extrapolated figures from the Federal Employment Agency, in August 2015 employment in jobs subject to social security deductions increased:

Number of people in jobs subject to social security deductions: 31 million

Year-on-year change: + 691 000 / + 2.3 %

It is provisionally estimated that, in August, of the 31 million people in jobs subject to social security deductions, 22.75 million, or 73 %, were working full time and 8.21 million (27 %) part time. Employment in such jobs is increasing in all of Germany's federal states; the increase was again strongest in Berlin (+ 3.5 %).

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

  • Wholesale and retails; repair of motor vehicles (+ 2.0 %)
  • Residential care and social work activities (+ 4.3 %)

The mining, electricity and water supply sectors saw a slight fall in employment (- 0.7 %).

The biggest companies in Germany in 2015 include, as in previous years, the vehicle manufacturers Volkswagen AG and Daimler Ag, and the energy company Eon.


Text last edited on: 01/2016

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