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Labour market

In brief

Labour market

Participation in economic life plays a central part in our society, and with its functions of securing a livelihood, assigning the individual a position within the structure of the society, for economic growth and welfare it comes into the picture in many areas. There is as much diversity in official labour market statistics and their sources.

Get an overview of the German labour market by looking at the key figures.

In Focus

Retired persons by occupational sections

Retirement at 63: only one in two employees retire on age grounds

Retirement at age 63 is strongly criticised by economists, employers and younger people paying pension insurance contributions but many feel that it is fair and employees should benefit from an early retirement after a long and hard working life. As a matter of fact, these employees often stop working because of health problems – quite some time before reaching retirement age.

According to results of the 2012 microcensus, this was the case with more than 42% of the retired persons who had last worked in building construction and civil engineering or as tile layers, carpenters or dry liners in a finishing occupation. Those who had to stop working in 2011 because of health problems retired at an average age of 55.6 years. In contrast, most of the retirees who had worked in administration (58%) or in insurance and financial services (56%) retired on age grounds. For these occupations, the average age at retirement was more than eight years higher in 2011 (63.9 years).

For information on the development of older people’s employment between 2002 and 2012 please refer to our labour market section.


Unemployed ILO-Concept


Unemployed person

Unemployed ILO-Conzept, Monthly data, Long term series from 2007

Registered unemployed


Monthly data

Long term series

Additional Information

Key figures

Presse releases

February 2014: employment up 0.8% on a year earlier

Female employment in Germany clearly above EU average

Nearly 2 million inactives would like to work

2011 Census


On 31 May 2013, the statistical offices released first results of the 2011 Census.

© Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden 2014