Labour market information

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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 August 2016, the unemployment rate in Berlin was 9.7 %, the national rate being 6.1 %. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 1.0 %. The capital’s unemployment rate thus puts it in 15th place in Germany.  

In June 2016, a total of 1 365 400 people were employed in jobs subject to social security deductions. This represented a year-on-year increase of 4.1 %. 

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 June 2015 and June 2016 was recorded in the following sectors:

  • Financial and insurance activities (+8.8%)
  • Agriculture and forestry (+7.5 %)
  • Transportation and storage (+6.6 %)

There were small falls of 0.9 % in manufacturing, in particular in the metal, electrical equipment and steel industries.

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: 03/2017

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