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Enterprises, crafts

Explanations on Crafts Statistics

Crafts, Crafts-related Trades

Since the Crafts Code was changed on 1 January 2004, a distinction has been made between crafts with compulsory approval and crafts with non-compulsory approval. Anyone wishing to perform a craft with compulsory approval needs to have a master craftsman’s certificate or a recognised comparable qualification in order to be registered in the official crafts register, whereas in crafts with non-compulsory approval such a qualification is not needed for approval. For crafts-related trades, no specific vocational qualification is required.

Structural surveys

Structural data on crafts are available in a detailed breakdown by subject and region, based on the census of crafts. The results of the census of crafts 2008 were the first structural information about the German crafts sector since 1995. Unlike earlier results the current figures have been produced using administrative data from the business register as the sole source of information. This means that crafts entrepreneurs have been exempted from their reporting duty.

Beginning with the year 2008 information about the number of enterprises, turnover and persons employed in the German crafts sector is published annually. Detailed information is published by the statistical offices of the Länder.

Additional information on this statistics and detailed results for crafts are contained in the Tables of the Handwerkszählung (53111) in the Database GENESIS-Online and in Fachserie 4, Reihe 7.2 (only in German), which is available free of charge from our publication service.

For reference day 31 March 1996, a non-recurrent census of crafts-related trades was conducted during which all crafts-related enterprises were questioned (complete count). That survey produced structural data in a breakdown by subject and region.

Short-term economic survey

The short-term economic trend in the crafts sector is monitored by means of the quarterly crafts reports. Until reference year 2007, this set of statistics was based on sample surveys. From reference year 2008, only infra-annual administrative data have been evaluated for the quarterly crafts reports, consequently, some 41,000 enterprises - most of them small to medium-sized - were relieved from the obligation to provide statistical information. With that conversion, a statistical survey covering enterprises for the first time was replaced entirely by the evaluation of administrative data.

Quarterly index numbers and rates of change regarding the variables “persons employed“ and “turnover” are published on the basis of the crafts reports. When the statistics were rebased on administrative data, new base values were fixed for determining the index numbers. Also, the breakdown by groups of trade was slightly modified from 2008.

From reference year 2010, additional results are published for selected economic branches of the Classification of Economic Activities, 2008 edition. In the context of this change, new base values were fixed for determining the index numbers (persons employed: 30 September 2009 = 100, turnover: 2009 = 100).

Therefore, the results from reference year 2010 are not directly comparable with earlier results.

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