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WIESBADEN – In the fourth quarter of 2017, the number of persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany amounted to roughly 44.7 million according to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with a year earlier, the number of persons in employment was up by 642,000, or 1.5%, which was due to the good economic situation. Hence, a year-on-year growth rate of 1.5% was recorded for each of the four quarters of 2017.

Compared with the previous quarter, the number of persons in employment in the fourth quarter of 2017 rose by 201,000 (+0.5%). Although employment growth in the last quarter of a year is quite usual, the increase in 2017 was above average. On an average of the last five years, employment in the last quarter of a year rose by just 165,000 people. After seasonal adjustment, that is, after the elimination of seasonal fluctuations, the relevant number in the fourth quarter of 2017 increased by 150,000 (+0.3%) compared with the third quarter.

Employment growth was based in particular on an increase in the number of employees, which – compared with a year earlier – rose by 667,000 (+1.7%) to 40.4 million in the fourth quarter of 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. Also, the number of self-employed including family workers decreased by 25,000 (–0.6%) to under 4.3 million in the same period.

Service sector had largest share in growth
In the fourth quarter of 2017, the rise in the total number of persons in employment on the same quarter a year earlier was mainly due to the growth in the service sector. The largest absolute employment gains were recorded for public services, education, health (+212,000 people or +1.9%), followed by business services (+164,000 people or +2.7%) and trade, transport, accommodation and food services (+111,000 people or +1.1%). In industry (excluding construction), the number of persons in employment was up by 62,000 (+0.8%) and in construction by 40,000 (+1.6%) in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier. In agriculture, forestry and fishing, it rose by 3,000 people (+0.5%).

Total hours worked rose 0.7 percent
According to first provisional results of the Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Agency, the average number of hours worked per person in employment was down 0.8% to 338.8 hours in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the fourth quarter of 2016. The total number of hours worked, that is, the number of persons in employment multiplied by the hours worked per person in employment, was up by 0.7% to 15.1 billion hours in the same period.

Note on the results published earlier
In addition to calculating first results of the number of persons in employment and the number of hours worked for the fourth quarter of 2017, the results published so far for the first three quarters of 2017 were recalculated. For this purpose, all additional sources of employment statistics that had become available by the time of recalculation were taken into account. At the level of the overall economy, the recalculation did not lead to any changes in the year-on-year change rates of the three quarters compared with the results published earlier. Also, the annual result of 44.3 million persons in employment and the year-on-year change rate of +1.5%, which were communicated in the press release of 2 January 2018 (No. 01/18), remained unchanged despite the recalculation.

Persons in employment and hours worked
Year,
Quarter 1
Persons in employment 2 Hours worked 3
Total Employees Self-
employed 4
by persons in
employment
per
person in
employment
Persons in 1,000 mn hours hours
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 = quarter
2014 42,672 38,260 4,412 58,336 1,367.1
2015 43,069 38,710 4,359 58,923 1,368.1
2016 43,638 39,305 4,333 59,286 1,358.6
2017 44,291 39,983 4,308 59,965 1,353.9
2014 1stqtr 42,220 37,796 4,424 14,801 350,6
2ndqtr 42,641 38,210 4,431 13,764 322,8
3rdqtr 42,861 38,436 4,425 14,964 349,1
4thqtr 42,965 38,598 4,367 14,807 344,6
2015 1stqtr 42,517 38,154 4,363 14,872 349,8
2ndqtr 42,998 38,627 4,371 13,899 323,3
3rdqtr 43,286 38,908 4,378 15,071 348,2
4thqtr 43,476 39,150 4,326 15,082 346,9
2016 1stqtr 43,096 38,758 4,338 14,810 343,7
2ndqtr 43,557 39,206 4,351 14,262 327,4
3rdqtr 43,832 39,481 4,351 15,166 346,0
4thqtr 44,066 39,773 4,293 15,047 341,5
2017 1stqtr 43,740 39,434 4,306 15,268 349,1
2ndqtr 44,207 39,880 4,327 14,186 320,9
3rdqtr 44,507 40,178 4,329 15,363 345,2
4thqtr 44,708 40,440 4,268 15,147 338,8
Change in % on the corresponding period of the previous year
2014 0.8 1.1 –1.2 1.2 0.3
2015 0.9 1.2 –1.2 1.0 0.1
2016 1.3 1.5 –0.6 0.6 –0.7
2017 1.5 1.7 –0.6 1.1 –0.3
2014 1stqtr 0.8 1.0 –1.1 2.5 1.7
2ndqtr 0.9 1.2 –1.3 0.3 –0.6
3rdqtr 0.8 1.1 –1.1 0.6 –0.2
4thqtr 0.8 1.0 –1.3 1.2 0.4
2015 1stqtr 0.7 0.9 –1.4 0.5 –0.2
2ndqtr 0.8 1.1 –1.4 1.0 0.2
3rdqtr 1.0 1.2 –1.1 0.7 –0.3
4thqtr 1.2 1.4 –0.9 1.9 0.7
2016 1stqtr 1.4 1.6 –0.6 –0.4 –1.7
2ndqtr 1.3 1.5 –0.5 2.6 1.3
3rdqtr 1.3 1.5 –0.6 0.6 –0.6
4thqtr 1.4 1.6 –0.8 –0.2 –1.6
2017 1stqtr 1.5 1.7 –0.7 3.1 1.6
2ndqtr 1.5 1.7 –0.6 –0.5 –2.0
3rdqtr 1.5 1.8 –0.5 1.3 –0.2
4thqtr 1.5 1.7 –0.6 0.7 –0.8
Persons in employment whose place of employment is in Germany, by economic sector 1
Sector of economic
activity 2
2015 2016 2017 2017
1stqtr 2ndqtr 3rdqtr 4thqtr
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).
Persons in 1,000
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 637 619 617 583 652 638 593
Industry, excluding construction 8,092 8,108 8,170 8,117 8,142 8,199 8,217
including:
Manufacturing 7,518 7,539 7,595 7,545 7,568 7,622 7,639
Construction 2,427 2,450 2,493 2,430 2,491 2,525 2,525
Trade, transport, accommodation and food services 9,846 9,976 10,091 9,946 10,080 10,145 10,185
Information and communication 1,218 1,240 1,279 1,266 1,277 1,285 1,289
Financial and insurance activities 1,187 1,179 1,162 1,168 1,160 1,160 1,163
Real estate activities 467 468 477 473 475 478 481
Business services 5,769 5,903 6,057 5,937 6,025 6,124 6,154
Public services, education, health 10,486 10,735 10,952 10,868 10,917 10,935 11,087
Other services 2,940 2,960 2,993 2,952 2,988 3,018 3,014
Change in % on the corresponding period of the previous year
Agriculture, forestry and fishing –1.8 –2.8 –0.3 –1.4 –0.8 0.3 0.5
Industry, excluding construction 0.3 0.2 0.8 0.6 0.8 0.8 0.8
including: 
Manufacturing 0.4 0.3 0.7 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8
Construction –0.4 0.9 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.7 1.6
Trade, transport, accommodation
and food services
0.5 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.1
Information and communication –1.0 1.8 3.1 3.4 3.4 3.1 2.5
Financial and insurance activities –0.1 –0.7 –1.4 –1.1 –1.4 –1.6 –1.7
Real estate activities 0.9 0.2 1.9 1.5 1.9 2.1 1.7
Business services 2.4 2.3 2.6 2.6 2.3 2.7 2.7
Public services, education, health 2.0 2.4 2.0 2.1 2.0 2.0 1.9
Other services 0.6 0.7 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.0

The 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

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