WIESBADEN - On an annual average in 2016, roughly 43.4 million persons resident in Germany were in employment. The number of persons in employment in 2016 was higher by 425,000, or 1.0%, than in the previous year, according to first provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Hence, the employment increase observed for over ten years continued. The increase in 2016 was even larger than in 2015 ( 377,000 people, or 0.9%). The total number of persons in employment in 2016 reached the highest level since German reunification. Higher labour force participation of the domestic population and the immigration of foreign workers offset negative demographic effects.
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 160,000 (-8.2%) to just under 1.8 million on an annual average in 2016, 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 265,000 ( 0.6%) to 45.2 million in the same period. The unemployment rate, which represents unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force, was down from 4.3% to 4.0%, as calculated on this basis. This means that Germany has the second lowest unemployment rate of all EU Member States, behind the Czech Republic.
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 453,000 ( 1.2%) to 39.1 million on an annual average in 2016. The number of self-employed including family workers, however, decreased by 28,000 (-0.6%) to 4.3 million in the same period. Among employees, the number of persons subject to social insurance contributions increased again, whereas the total of marginally employed people and those in job opportunities (so-called one-euro jobs) continued to decrease. The trend of the previous years thus continued.
According to the first provisional calculations, the number of persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany amounted to 43.5 million on an annual average in 2016. This was an increase of 429,000 ( 1.0%) 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. On an annual average in 2016, the number of non-residents working in Germany was by 82,000 (2015: 78,000) higher than the number of residents working abroad, according to first provisional calculations.
When examined by economic sectors, the increase in the number of persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany in 2016 was largest in the service branches ( 426,000 people, or 1.3%). The largest absolute shares in this increase were recorded for public services, education, health ( 200,000 persons in employment, or 1.9%), followed by business services ( 126,000, or 2.2%) and trade, transport, accommodation and food services ( 105,000, or 1.1%). In industry (excluding construction), the number of persons in employment in 2016 stagnated at the level of 2015. In construction, the number of persons in employment was up by an average 20,000 ( 0.8%) and in agriculture, forestry and fishing it decreased by 17,000 (-2.7%) on an annual average in 2016.
Detailed 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.