Number of persons in employment increased by 1.5 percent in 2017

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

Headline: Number of persons in employment increased by 1.5 percent in 2017

WIESBADEN – On an annual average in 2017, there were roughly 44.3 million persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany. The number of persons in employment in 2017 was higher by 638,000, or 1.5%, than in the previous year, according to first provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). This was the highest increase since 2007 (+690,000 people, or +1.7%). Hence, the employment increase observed for twelve years continued dynamically. Higher labour force participation of the domestic population and the immigration of foreign workers offset negative demographic effects, so that the number of persons in employment observed in 2017 was the highest since German reunification. When examined by economic sectors, the year-on-year increase in 2017 in the number of persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany was largest in the service branches (+536,000 people, or +1.7%). The largest absolute shares in this increase were recorded for public services, education, health (+214,000 persons in employment, or +2.0%), followed by business services (+146,000, or +2.5%) and trade, transport, accommodation and food services (+111,000, or +1.1%). In industry (excluding construction), the number of persons in employment was up by an average 61,000 (+0.8%) in 2017 and in construction by 43,000 (+1.8%). In agriculture, forestry and fishing, the number of persons in employment was down by 2,000 (–0.3%) on the previous year. 

The number of persons in employment resident in Germany amounted to roughly 44.2 million on an annual average in 2017. This was an increase of 630,000 (+1.4%) compared with a year earlier. The difference between the number of persons in employment who are resident in Germany and the number of those whose place of employment is in Germany can be explained by the balance of non-residents working in Germany and residents working abroad. 

The main reason for the positive development of the German labour market was the increase in the number of employees resident in Germany, which was up by 656,000 (+1.7%) to 39.9 million on an annual average in 2017. The number of employees subject to social insurance contributions increased again, whereas the total of marginally employed people (including persons in marginal or short-term employment) continued to decrease. The number of self-employed including family workers, too, decreased by 26,000 (–0.6%) to 4.3 million in the same period. 

As provisional estimates based on the labour force survey show, the number of unemployed people (according to the internationally comparable definition) in Germany declined by 79,000 (–4.5%) to just under 1.7 million on an annual average in 2017, year on year. The active labour force available in the labour market, defined as the total of persons in employment and unemployed persons, increased by 551,000 (+1.2%) to 45.9 million in the same period. This was the highest growth rate since 2000 (+1.4%). The unemployment rate, which represents unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force, was down from 3.9% in the previous year to 3.7%. This is the lowest level since German reunification.
Persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany,by economic sector 1 YearPersons inemployment,totalAgriculture,forestryand fishingIndustry,including energyConstructionServiceactivities 2 1 Annual averages. 2 Trade, hotel and restaurant services, transport, financial, renting and business activities, other service activities.Persons in 1,000200539,3266687,8182,27728,563200639,6356537,7342,27328,975200740,3256677,8392,31229,507200840,8566708,0222,30029,864200940,8926677,8442,31230,069201041,0206617,7052,33130,323201141,5776707,8542,37630,677201242,0616677,9942,41230,988201342,3196418,0222,42731,229201442,6726498,0692,43631,518201543,0696378,0922,42731,913201643,6386198,1082,45032,461201744,2766178,1692,49332,997Change in % on the corresponding period of the previous year20050.0–3.2–1.7–3.40.820060.8–2.2–1.1–0.21.420071.–0.51.220090.1–0.4––0.9––––1.80.3–0.41.320161.3–– shares of the economic sectors in the total number of persons in employment19911003.028.37.461.320051001.719.95.872.620061001.619.55.773.120071001.719.45.773.220081001.619.65.673.120091001.619.25.773.520101001.618.85.773.920111001.618.95.773.820121001.619.05.773.720131001.519.05.773.820141001.518.95.773.920151001.518.85.674.120161001.418.65.674.420171001.418.55.674.5Labour force, unemployed persons and persons in employment whose place of residence is in Germany 1YearLabour forceUnemployedpersons 2Residents in employmenttotalemployeesself-employed 3 1 Annual averages. 2 Results of the labour force survey (microcensus) according to the labour force concept of the International Labour Organization (ILO); persons in households aged 15 to 74 years. 3 Including unpaid family workers.Persons in 1,000199141,0232,17238,85135,2883,563200443,3454,12739,21834,9604,258200543,7264,50639,22034,8104,410200643,6634,10439,55935,0764,483200743,7323,47340,25935,7324,527200843,8233,01840,80536,3024,503200943,9433,09840,84536,3604,485201043,8042,82140,98336,4964,487201143,9332,39941,53436,9714,563201244,2302,22442,00637,4464,560201344,4392,18242,25737,7914,466201444,6982,09042,60838,1964,412201544,9401,95042,99038,6314,359201645,3181,77443,54439,2114,333201745,8691,69544,17439,8674,307Change in % on the corresponding period of the previous year20041.–0.43.62006–0.1––––0.520090.–0.42010–0.3––––0.120130.5––2.120140.6––1.220150.5––1.220160.8––0.620171.2––0.6Detailed data and long time series on persons in employment and unemployed persons are available from the tables persons in employment (81000-0015) and on the labour force including unemployed persons (81000-0011) in the GENESIS-Online database.

The current data and brief methodological notes regarding the calculation of employment and unemployment figures are available on the Destatis website.

For further information:Christoph-Martin Mai,tel. +49 (0) 611 / 75 33 78,

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