Normal view

Navigation and service

Logo Destatis - Statistisches Bundesamt, Link to homepage

Labour market

New website coming soon!

Therefore, the information offered here is not updated regularly. See our GENESIS-Online database for current data.

The scientific use file of the “Labour market in Germany” pilot survey

Official statistics provide monthly data on the labour market in the form of a de facto anonymised microdata file of the telephone-based pilot survey regarding the activity status of the population (“Labour market in Germany”) which was carried out between April 2003 and September 2004. In line with the stipulations of Art. 16 (6) of the Federal Statistics Law, the scientific community can use the microdata to carry out, in their own working environment, studies on labour market and employment issues and make both national and international comparisons.

The data give information on the activity status based on the labour force concept of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the employment situation, labour income, job search and a number of socio-structural indictors. As collecting the monthly data is based on a rotating panel covering six enquiries each, detailed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses can be made of the development patterns concerning about 46,000 respondents aged between 15 and 74 years for a period of up to six months. The analyses can be carried out separately for eastern and western Germany. The expansion factors required are supplied as well.

Internationally comparable labour market data

The “Labour market in Germany” pilot survey studied the labour force participation of the population based on the labour force concept of the International Labour Organization (ILO) which allows international comparisons. Against the background of progressing Europeanisation and international integration, both the importance of compiling internationally comparable data on the labour market and related requirements have continuously increased. The majority of the EU Member States fulfil those requirements by means of the data obtained in the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Only in few Member States, however, the data are available with a monthly periodicity.

The ILO concept is based on an economic definition which classifies any activity as employment which a person aged 15 years or over performs for pay for a minimum of one hour during a reference period of one week. The aim of that approach is to cover the contribution of any paid activity to a national economy’s total volume, even if the extent of such activity is very small. A person is considered unemployed if he/she was not employed in the reference week, but actively sought paid work over the four weeks preceding the survey. The person must be able to take up employment within two weeks. Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are regarded as part of the inactive population.

Applying the ILO criteria ensures the fulfilment of the international comparability requirements above all because the conceptual definitions do not depend on any social legislation at the national level. The situation is different regarding the concept of registered unemployed as it is used in Germany. For a person to be recorded as unemployed in accordance with that concept, he/she must be registered with an employment agency and fulfil a number of other criteria laid down in the German Social Security Code (SGB).

Survey methodology and list of questions

The voluntary-response survey uses the method of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). Sampling is based on the Gabler-Häder design which is widely applied in social research. The pilot survey covered the period from April 2003 to September 2004. The monthly interviews included 10,000 persons each. To carry out longitudinal analyses of monthly changes, the survey was designed as a rotating panel with six enquiries and a high degree of net monthly overlapping (70%). The coverage rate of the initial interview amounted to a good 50 percent.

The list of questions includes items such as sex, age and citizenship, employment incl. secondary and casual work, questions about job search and also education and participation in education.

De facto anonymised microdata files

For reasons of data privacy protection, the original data of the “Labour market in Germany” pilot survey are anonymised and, in the form of a scientific use file, can be made available to and be used by independent domestic research institutions for their analyses. At a price of EUR 65.00, data are provided for the monthly survey waves covering the period from April 2003 to September 2004. Users receive the files in ASCII format on a CD-ROM.

The de facto anonymised microdata material is supplied by the research data centres of the Federal Statistical Office and the German Länder statistical offices.

Contacts for obtaining information and ordering data

Please contact the research data centres of the Federal Statistical Office and the German Länder statistical offices for any further questions regarding the scientific use files:

Please use the "Application for the use of microdata" form to order data.

Additional Information

Key figures


Piktogramm Presse

For current press releases on the theme of labour market please go to our press pages.

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2019

Imprint – data protection – contact

Note on the use of cookies

We use cookies to provide you with an optimum website design. Please confirm that you have read and understood our data protection declaration.