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Germany registers highest number of employed since reunification
Last Updated: 2019-01-03 10:30 | Xinhua
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On an annual average in 2018, roughly 44.8 million people were employed in Germany, the highest such number since the reunification in 1991, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Wednesday.

According to first provisional calculations, the number of persons in employment went up by 1.3 percent, or 562,000, year on year.

Germany has witnessed a 13-year period of an increasing number of people in paid positions. According to Destasis, a "higher labor force participation" of the German population as well as the "immigration of foreign workers" has offset negative demographic effects of an aging German population.

"The increase in the number of people in employment in Germany is remarkable in view of the demographic development. In many areas, it is difficult to fill jobs because there is a shortage of labor. A large proportion of the new jobs are filled by foreign workers," Oliver Holtemoeller, vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), told Xinhua on Wednesday.

In 2018, the service sector provided the highest share of new paid positions and employed 384,000 or 1.2 percent more compared with a year earlier.

Broken down further, the biggest absolute employment gains were recorded for public services, education and health services with 190,000 additional persons in employment, followed by trade, transport, accommodation and food services and business services.

While the number of employees in Germany has increased to over 40 million for the first time in 2018, the number of self-employed including family workers decreased by 76,000, or 1.8 percent, to 4.22 million in the same period. A decrease in the number of self-employed people was last recorded in 2003 in Germany.

"The shortage on the labor market is gradually being reflected in higher wage increases," Holtemoeller added. The IWH expert predicts that wage increases and a slowdown of the global economy will "slow the growth in employment" in Germany.

"In just a few years time, demographic changes will be so severe that a decline in the number of people in employment can be expected in the medium term. However, this also depends on how strong immigration to Germany will continue to be," according to Holtemoeller.

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