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Employees and labour market

The labour market is where enterprises' demand for the production factor labour meets household's supply of working time. There are two sources of statistics for this field. First, the Federal Employment Agency publishes, based on the Social Security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB), the number of employees subject to social security contributions, the number ofunemployed persons and further details regarding short-time employment, vacancies and those persons working exclusively in low-paid part-time jobs. Second, the Federal Statistical Office publishes further statistics based on the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) internationally agreed definition. This also includes the number of employed persons.

Seasonally and working-day-adjusted or just working-day-adjusted time series - depending on the indicator - are provided in addition to the unadjusted data (using version 0.2.8 of the Census X-12-ARIMA program).

Real-time data are available for selected indicators.

Employed persons

The employed persons in the national accounts include all persons considered to be employees (wage earners, salaried staff, civil servants, persons in low-paid part-time jobs and soldiers) as well as the self-employed and family workers that are economically active, regardless of the extent of this activity. The single-person concept applies here, meaning that those who have more than one employment relationship are only recorded once under their main source of employment.

The results for Germany published by the Federal Statistical Office are based on the definitions set out in the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) standards, which conform with the corresponding definitions specified in the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).

Short-time workers

Short-time workers are those employees whose regular working hours in an enterprise have been temporarily reduced due to a significant decline in work to be undertaken. The basis for reporting on short-time work at the Federal Employment Agency is section 169 of the Third Book of the Social Security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch). Those enterprises with short-time employees must send applications for short-time working benefits to the Federal Employment Agency. Payment of short-time working benefits is intended to protect jobs and thus avoid unemployment. Short-time workers as a whole includes the recipients of short-time working benefits in accordance with section 170 of the Third Book of the Social Security Code, seasonal short-time working benefits in accordance with section 175 of the Third Book of the Social Security Code, and restructuring short-time working benefits in accordance with section 216b of the Third Book of the Social Security Code.

Unemployed persons

All persons who have reached the age of 15 but have not yet reached the age of 65 and who are without employment or only with short-time employment (currently less than 15 hours per week) and seeking an employment of at least 15 hours per week subject to compulsory insurance are counted as unemployed based on the statistics compiled by the Federal Employment Agency using the unemployment register. They must have registered as unemployed at an employment agency or at a basic allowance institution and be available for placement, and must not be certified as unfit for work.

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is calculated by the Federal Employment Agency based on the number of unemployed persons (see definition above) as a percentage of the number of all civilian members of the labour force (dependant civilian employed persons, the self-employed family workers and unemployed).

Reported vacancies

These are positions for a period of employment of more than seven calendar days which employers have reported to the Federal Employment Agency as vacant. Vacancies for freelancers, the self-employed or positions at private employment agencies are not taken into account. Only unsubsidised vacancies are included, which comprise positions that are subject to social security contributions, low-paid and part time, and other.