WIESBADEN - In the first quarter of 2016, the number of persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany amounted to roughly 43.1 million according to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with the same period a year earlier, the number of persons in employment increased considerably by 533,000 or 1.3%. This means that the positive employment trend continued at the beginning of the year. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the year-on-year increase had been somewhat smaller ( 1.0%).
Compared with the previous quarter, the number of persons in employment was down by 384,000 (-0.9%) in the first quarter of 2016. A decrease in employment in the first quarter of a year is a common phenomenon. Due to the mild winter, however, the decrease was smaller in 2016 than the average decline recorded for the past five years (-462,000 people). After seasonal adjustment, that is, after the elimination of the usual seasonal fluctuations, the relevant number increased by 181,000 or 0.4% compared with the previous quarter.
In the first quarter of 2016, the rise in the total number of persons in employment from the first quarter of 2015 was again mainly due to the growth in the service sector. The largest absolute employment gains within the service sector were shown for public services, education, health ( 177,000 people or 1.7%), followed by business services ( 150,000 people or 2.7%) and trade, transport, accommodation and food services ( 144,000 people or 1.5%).
In industry (excluding construction), the number of persons in employment was up by 16,000 ( 0.2%) and in construction by 25,000 ( 1.1%) in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter a year earlier. In agriculture, forestry and fishing, the number of persons in employment decreased by 19,000 (-3.1%).
The average number of hours worked per person in employment was down 1.1% to 347 hours in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter of 2015 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 slightly by 0.2% to roughly 14.9 billion hours in the same period.
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 2016, the results published so far for the individual quarters of 2015 were recalculated as part of the regular revision of national accounts. The recalculation of the employment data for the third quarter of 2015 resulted, at the level of the overall economy, in a year-on-year change rate corrected upwards by 0.1 percentage points as compared with the result published earlier. The relevant change rates remained unchanged for the first, second and fourth quarters of 2015, and for the year 2015 as a whole ( 0.8%).
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.