Labor market: number of employed at record level

Never before in reunified Germany were so many people employed as in the past year.

Labor market: number of employed at record level

Never before in reunified Germany were so many people employed as in the past year. 45.6 million people, 1.3 percent more than a year earlier, had their place of work in Germany in 2022, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office on Monday.

This made up for the Corona dent and exceeded the previous maximum from the pre-crisis year of 2019 of 45.3 million people. After 14 years of uninterrupted growth, the number of people in employment collapsed in the first Corona year 2020 and had only slowly recovered in 2021 by 0.1 percent growth.

Immigration is an important factor

The additional jobs were done, among other things, by immigrant workers. In addition, more nationals than before were involved in working life. The statisticians determined that these two effects still outweighed the general demographic development. In its population projection, the Federal Office assumes that the number of people of working age between 20 and 66 in Germany will fall over the next 15 years, even with high levels of immigration. In 2035 there could be between 1.6 million and 4.8 million fewer workers than at present.

In connection with the shortage of skilled workers, the head of the employment agency, Andrea Nahles, had called for greater efforts to keep foreign workers in Germany. Foreign professional qualifications should be recognized more flexibly, family reunification improved and language skills assessed more generously. The Federal Agency considers 400,000 immigrants from third countries to be necessary every year in order to compensate for the deficit caused by the upcoming retirement of the baby boomer generation. In the past few years, this number has been significantly missed in some cases.

Lots of service jobs

Last year, people found new jobs primarily in the service sector, where 93 percent of the growth took place. Here, the number of people in employment rose by 1.6 percent compared to an increase of only 0.4 percent in the manufacturing sector. There were also only 0.5 percent more workers in construction than a year earlier, while the number in fisheries, agriculture and forestry even fell by 0.5 percent.

As in the previous ten years, the number of self-employed and their family workers fell again, by 1.4 percent. They still made up 3.9 million people. The remaining workers are employees.

The number of unemployed also fell in 2022: according to international standards, it fell very significantly by 209,000 people or 13.6 percent to 1.3 million.

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