Labour market information

Print this page

Germany - Berlin

Short overview of the labour market


Berlin, the federal capital, has about 3.3 million inhabitants, making it the largest city in Germany and the most densely populated federal state. There is an average of 3 800 residents per square kilometre. After Hamburg, it has the second-highest percentage of inhabitants with foreign nationality. Most of them come from Turkey or Poland.

The capital city region of Berlin is not prosperous in comparison with other German federal states. Disposable income is below the national average. The main reason is high unemployment, which has risen extremely sharply since German reunification.

In February 2017, the unemployment rate in Berlin was 9.6 %, the national rate being 6.3 %. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 1.0 %. The capital’s unemployment rate thus puts it in 14th place in Germany.

In December 2016, a total of 1 399 100 people were employed in jobs subject to social security deductions. This represented a year-on-year increase of 4.4 % in the number of people employed in jobs subject to social security deductions.

The main sources of employment included:

  • Real estate, professional, scientific and technical services
  • Wholesale and retail trade; maintenance and repair of motor vehicles
  • Residential care and social work activities

In percentage terms, the strongest jobs growth between December 2015 and December 2016 was recorded in the following sectors:

  • ICT (+10.1 %)
  • Agriculture and forestry (+21.6 %)
  • Other business support services, not including temporary employment agency activities (+8.5 %)

A small contraction in employment (-1.4 %) was seen in the manufacture of predominantly consumer goods.

Berlin’s largest employers include some well-known corporate names: Deutsche Bahn AG, the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin (university hospital) and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) (Berlin public transport). 

Text last edited on: 08/2017

Are you satisfied with the information provided on this page?

Need help?  
Need help?