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43.6 million persons in employment in January 2017

WIESBADEN – In January 2017, roughly 43.6 million persons resident in Germany were in employment according to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Compared with January 2016, the number of persons in employment increased by 612,000 or 1.4%. Roughly 1.8 million people were unemployed in January 2017, 88,000 fewer than a year earlier.

According to provisional results of the employment accounts, the number of persons in employment fell by 333,000, or 0.8%, in January 2017 on the previous month. The decrease on December was slightly smaller than the relevant average of the past five years (–340,000 people). After seasonal adjustment, that is, after the elimination of the usual seasonal fluctuations, the number of persons in employment was up by 58,000, or 0.1%, in January 2017 compared with the previous month.

In addition to the first calculation of the number of persons in employment for the reference month of January 2017, the provisional monthly employment results were recalculated for the year 2016. This involved taking account of all sources of employment statistics that had additionally become available until the time of calculation. Recalculating the employment figures at this point in time became necessary because modified basic data of the Federal Employment Agency had become available. For the monthly employment figures, this resulted in year-on-year change rates which, for the months from June to December, are by up to 0.9 percentage points higher than the results published earlier. This led to a 1.2% increase in the number of persons in employment (national concept) to 43.5 million in 2016 compared with 2015. The press release of 2 January 2017 (No. 01/17) communicated an annual result of 43.4 million persons in employment (national concept) and a year-on-year change rate of +1.0%.

Results of the labour force survey show that 1.76 million people were unemployed in January 2017. Compared with the previous month, the number increased by 215,000 or 14.3%. Adjusted for seasonal and irregular effects, the number of unemployed stood at 1.66 million. It was down by approximately 21,000 people from the previous month. The adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8% in January 2017.

Detailed data and long time series are available from the GENESIS-Online database. The data on persons in employment from employment accounts are available in tables 13321-0001 (months) and 13321-0002 (quarters). Data on persons in employment and unemployed persons from the labour force survey can be found in tables 13231-0001 (months).

I. Employment accounts
Persons in employment whose place of residence is in Germany 1
YearMonthOriginal valuesSeasonally adjusted 2
personschange on
previous month
change on the
same month of
the previous year
personschange on
previous month
in millionin %in millionin %
1 Results of employment accounts as part of national accounting: persons in employment whose place of residence is in Germany (resident concept). The respective time series for persons in employment whose place of work is in Germany (domestic concept) are presented here.
2 Seasonal adjustment by Census X-12-Arima.
July43.4810.01.143.479 0.0


II. Labour force survey
Unemployed persons and persons in employment 1
Previous monthSame month of the previous year
1 Persons in households aged 15 to 74 years. Extrapolated on the basis of key population figures from the 2011 Census.
2 Share of unemployed in the labour force (persons in employment and unemployed) aged 15 to 74 years.
3 Share of persons in employment in all persons aged 15 to 74 years.
4 Trend cycle component (X-12-ARIMA method using Demetra+; calculation by Eurostat).
Original values
in millionin %in millionin %
Unemployed persons1.761.5414.31.85–4.9
Persons in employment41.8242.04–0.540.792.5
shares in %in %shares in %in %
Unemployment rate 24.03.514.34.3–7.0
Employment rate 366.767.1–0.665.81.4
Adjusted results 4
in millionin %in millionin %
Unemployed persons1.661.68–1.21.87–11.2
Persons in employment41.8641.790.240.613.1
shares in %in %shares in %in %
Unemployment rate 23.83.9–2.64.4–13.6
Persons aged under 25 years6.56.6–1.57.2–9.7
Persons aged 25 to 74 years3.53.6–2.84.1–14.6
Employment rate 366.866.7

Methodological notes:
As of reference month January 2016, a new sampling frame based on the results of the 2011 Census has been used for the sample of the microcensus and the integrated labour force survey. As a result of the changeover, comparability over time with microcensus results of previous years may be limited. Studying in depth the potential effects of introducing the new sampling frame will be possible only when more results become available.

The number of persons in employment as obtained in the employment accounts and that from the labour force survey differ. The differences are due to the different concepts applied in the two statistical systems. For more information on the background of the differences in results between the labour force survey and the employment accounts.

Persons in employment and unemployed persons are counted according to the employment status concept of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Therefore, unemployment as shown here must not be confused with registered unemployment as published by the Federal Employment Agency. In the European Statistical System, the results of the labour force survey are used as a standard basis for calculating unemployment rates.

Annual results, quarterly results and more monthly results are available: Employment.
Under “Unemployment”, the results adjusted by means of the Berlin method (BV4.1) are additionally available (trend cycle component).

>> Brief methodological description employment
>> Brief methodological description hours worked

For further information:
on employment accounts:
Christoph Martin Mai,
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 33 78, and
Michael Braig
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 29 32

on the labour force survey:
Andreas Grau,
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 21 24,
contact form

Press release in other language


© Destatis

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