Positive trend in employment continued in the 1st quarter of 2017

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MIL OSI – Source: Destatis Statistisches Bundesamt – In English –

Headline: Positive trend in employment continued in the 1st quarter of 2017

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WIESBADEN – In the first quarter of 2017, the number of persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany amounted to 43.7 million according to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the number of persons in employment increased considerably by 638,000 or 1.5%. Hence the positive employment trend continued at the beginning of 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the year-on-year increase had been 1.3%. 

Compared with the previous quarter, the number of persons in employment in the first quarter of 2017 declined by 334,000 (–0.8%). A decrease in employment in the first quarter of a year is a usual seasonal phenomenon. Due to the mild winter, however, the decrease was smaller in 2017 than the average recorded over the past five years (–443,000 people). After seasonal adjustment, that is, after the elimination of the usual seasonal fluctuations, the relevant number increased by 203,000 (+0.5%) compared with the previous quarter. 

In the first quarter of 2017, the rise in the number of persons in employment on the same quarter a year earlier was again mainly due to the growth in the service sector. The largest absolute employment gains within the service sector were recorded for public services, education, health (+226,000 people or +2.1%), followed by business services (+165,000 or +2.9%) and trade, transport, accommodation and food services (+128,000 or +1.3%). However, employment was down in financial and insurance activities (–12,000 people or –1.0%). 

In industry (excluding construction), the number of persons in employment was up by 36,000 (+0.4%) and in construction by 34,000 (+1.4%) in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period a year earlier. In agriculture, forestry and fishing, the number of persons in employment decreased by 18,000 (–3.1%). 

Compared with the first quarter of 2016, the number of employees increased by a total of 663,000 (+1.7%) to stand at 39.42 million in the first quarter of 2017. The number of self-employed including family workers decreased by 25,000 (–0.6%) to 4.28 million in the same period. 

The average number of hours worked per person in employment was up 1.7% to 351 hours in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter a year earlier according to first provisional results of the Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Agency. The total number of hours worked, that is, the number of persons in employment multiplied by the hours worked per person in employment, increased considerably by 3.2% to roughly 15.3 billion hours in the same period. The last time a total of hours as high as that was recorded was in the third quarter of 1992. 

In addition to the first calculation of the number of persons in employment and of the number of hours worked for the first quarter of 2017, the results published so far for the individual quarters of 2016 (press release of 16 February 2017) were recalculated as part of the regular revision of national accounts. As a result of substantial corrections made to the basic data of the Federal Employment Agency, employment levels increased markedly for the second half of 2016. The recalculation of the quarterly employment data resulted, at the level of the overall economy, in a year-on-year change rate that is 0.4 percentage points higher for the third quarter and 0.7 percentage points higher for the fourth quarter of 2016 than the results published earlier. For the first and second quarters of 2016, the rates of change remained unchanged.
Persons in employment and hours workedYear,Quarter 1Persons in employment 2Hours worked 3TotalEmployeesSelf-employed 4by persons inemploymentperperson inemploymentPersons in 1,000mn hourshours 1 For persons in employment: annual and/or quarterly averages. 2 Results of employment accounts as part of national accounts; persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany (domestic concept). 3 Source: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (Institute for Employment Research) of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency), Nuremberg. 4 Including family workers.qtr = quarter201442,66238,2604,40258,3431,367.6201543,05738,7214,33658,8951,367.8201643,59539,2904,30559,4441,363.520141st qtr42,21437,7994,41514,811350.82nd qtr42,62638,2074,41913,761322.83rd qtr42,84938,4334,41614,963349.24th qtr42,95838,6014,35714,809344.720151st qtr42,51238,1564,35614,881350.02nd qtr42,98538,6414,34413,876322.83rd qtr43,27238,9254,34715,060348.04th qtr43,45739,1624,29515,077347.020161st qtr43,06038,7534,30714,850344.92nd qtr43,49739,1914,30614,277328.23rd qtr43,78939,4644,32515,213347.44th qtr44,03239,7514,28115,103343.020171st qtr43,69839,4164,28215,325350.7Change in % on the corresponding period of the previous year20140.81.0–1.31.20.420150.91.2–1.50.90.020161.21.5–0.70.9–0.320141st qtr0.81.0–1.32.31.62nd qtr0.91.1–1.40.4–0.53rd qtr0.81.0–1.10.7–0.14th qtr0.71.0–1.21.30.620151st qtr0.70.9–1.30.5–0.22nd qtr0.81.1–1.70.80.03rd qtr1.01.3–1.60.7–0.34th qtr1.21.5–1.41.80.720161st qtr1.31.6–1.1–0.2–1.52nd qtr1.21.4–0.92.91.73rd qtr1.21.4–0.51.0–0.24th qtr1.31.5–0.30.2–1.220171st qtr1.51.7–0.63.21.7Persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany, by economic sector 1Sector of economicactivity 220152016201620171stqtr2ndqtr3rdqtr4thqtr1stqtrPersons in 1,000 1 Results of employment accounts as part of national accounts (domestic concept); annual and quarterly averages. 2 Classification of Economic Activities, 2008 edition (WZ 2008).Agriculture, forestry and fishing637617590653634591572Industry, excluding construction8,0878,1048,0648,0728,1298,1508,100including:Manufacturing7,5127,5317,4967,5027,5547,5727,529Construction2,4302,4562,3952,4522,4892,4882,429Trade, transport, accommodation and food services9,8569,9919,8439,97010 04310,0979,971Information and communication1,2131,2331,2181,2291,2391,2491,250Financial and insurance activities1,1871,1811,1831,1781,1781,1841,171Real estate activities467468466465468473473Business services5,7575,8995,7805,8775,9625,9885,945Public services, education, health10,46210,68310,59310,64910,66410,82210,819Other services2,9612,9632,9282,9522,9832,9902,968Change in % on the corresponding period of the previous yearAgriculture, forestry and fishing–1.8–3.1–3.6–3.4–3.1–2.2–3.1Industry, excluding construction0.20.20.20.10.20.30.4including:Manufacturing0.30.30.30.20.20.30.4Construction–0.21.11.31.10.91.11.4Trade, transport, accommodation and food services0.51.41.41.31.31.21.3Information and communication–1.41.61.01.21.82.52.6Financial and insurance activities–0.2–0.5–0.5–0.4–0.7–0.8–1.0Real estate activities0.90.20.4–0.20.01.11.5Business services2.52.52.82.62.32.52.9Public services, education, health1.82.12.02.12.22.22.1Other services1.30.10.4–0.2–0.10.51.4The current national accounts data on employment by quarters and years and the current monthly time series are available on the labour market web pages.

Detailed data and long time series on persons in employment and the number of hours worked are available in the GENESIS-Online database in the tables on national accounts of the Federation (81000-0012 and 81000-0016) and on the labour market (13321).

>> Brief methodological description employment

>> Brief methodological description hours worked

For further information:Ulf-Karsten Keil,tel. +49 (0) 611 / 75 26 33,contact form
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