Labour market information
Germany - National Level
Short overview of the labour market
Germany, with 81.8 million inhabitants, has the fourth-largest national economy and industrial base in the world. Far more than 90% of all German companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for two thirds of all jobs and half of Germany’s economic output. Germany is second only to the United States in terms of foreign trade. The bulk of its exports go to European countries.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, the real GDP of the Federal Republic of Germany increased by only 0.7% in 2012, to EUR 2.6 billion. Thus in 2012, growth in the German economy was clearly weaker than in the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2012 in particular, GDP fell sharply, not least owing to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. In 2013, therefore, growth started from an unusually low level; because of the severe slump, growth in the last quarter of 2012 was 0.3% below the 2012 average. This so-called statistical underhang had first to be reversed during 2013 before the German economy could start to grow again over the year as a whole. The German economy managed to free itself from the earlier poor growth in the second quarter of 2013, achieving strong growth of 0.7%. In addition to private consumption and exports, investment also rose appreciably following a long period of stagnation.
The trend in the labour market can still be regarded as stable. The unemployment rate remained more or less the same year-on-year at 6.8%, with 2 945 708 persons out of work. Germany still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.
Underemployment, excluding short-time working, showed a year-on-year decrease of 6 000, and in August 2013 amounted to 8.9%.
The number of persons in paid employment and those in employment in jobs subject to social security deductions rose again in August 2013. The rise was, however, weaker than in previous months.
The number of persons in paid employment showed a year-on-year increase of 218 000 to 41.91 million in July 2013.
According to extrapolated figures from the Federal Employment Agency, in June 2013 employment in jobs subject to social security deductions rose year-on-year by 348 000 to 29.27 million. Employment in jobs subject to social security deductions is growing in all federal states (Länder) except Saxony-Anhalt. In sectoral terms too, there is growth almost everywhere – especially in business services (excluding temporary work) and in health care and social work. Most reductions were in temporary work.
Text last edited on: 12/2013