Labour market information

Print this page

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 2015, Germany came first before China and the United States in terms of foreign trade.

In January 2016, there has been a rise in unemployment alone due to seasonal unemployment. A rise in unemployment in January during the winter break is not unusual. However, the rise in unemployment this year is lower than in recent years.

Number of unemployed in January 2016: 2 920 000

Unemployment rate in January 2016: 6.7 %

Year-on-year change: - 0,3 %

According to figures from the Federal Employment Agency employment in jobs subject to social security deductions increased in West and East Germany: 

Number of people in jobs subject to social security deductions: 31.39 million

Year-on-year change: + 756.653  / +  2,5 %

It is provisionally estimated that, in November 2015, of the 31 million people in jobs subject to social security deductions, 23.04 million, or 73 %, were working full time and 8.35 million (27 %) part time. Employment in such jobs is increasing in all of Germany's federal states; the increase was again strongest in Berlin (+ 3.8 %).

In the year-on-year comparison between sectors, the predominant picture was of growth across the board. The clearest increases in employment in November 2015 were in the sectors:

  • Health care and social sectors (+ 4.9 %)
  • Trade (+ 2.0 %).

The mining, electricity and water supply sectors saw a slight fall in employment (- 0.6 %).

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: 06/2016

Are you satisfied with the information provided on this page?

Need help?  
Need help?