German employment is back above pre-pandemic levels

Employment in Germany rebounded above pre-pandemic levels for the first time in the first quarter of 2022, according to new figures from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office.

45.1 million people in Germany were employed during the quarter, a rise of 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis since the fourth quarter of 2021, and 0.1% higher than the fourth quarter of 2019 — just before pandemic restrictions came into force.

And the number of people employed in Q1 of 2022 was up 1.5% compared to Q1 of 2021 — the biggest year-on-year increase in employment since 2007.

The main driver of this boom in the first quarter was a 2.0% rise in employment in the service sector.

The biggest absolute employment gains were achieved by “public services, education, health,” where jobs increased by 242,000, or 2.1%, during the quarter. In second place were “trade, transport, accommodation and food services,” which were up 2.0% with 190,000 new jobs, followed by “business services,” including employment activities, up by 112,000, or 1.9%.

However, the number of self-employed workers fell by 32,000, or 0.8%, year on year.

But the average number of hours worked by each person in employment was up 1.7% year on year to 341.3 (about 26.5 hours a week) — suggesting some of the fall in self-employment may have been caused by Germans ditching the side hustle as they picked up more hours at work.

The auto industry in Germany is one of the main foundations of the country’s economic strength, supporting other industries such as tyres, plastics, and metal processing. Including suppliers, car services, garages and retailers, around 5 million German employees depend on the success of the auto industry–that’s 1 out of every 7 jobs.

Germany’s excellence in automotive engineering is renowned worldwide. From the Americas to Asia, German cars are a byword for innovation, safety, reliability, and quality design.

Germany is, by some margin, the leading car production and sales market in Europe. Its world-class R&D infrastructure, highly qualified workforce, and complete industry value chain integration create an unrivalled automotive environment that enables automakers to develop cutting-edge technologies for tomorrow’s needs. 

The German car market is projected to grow by 7% in 2022, producing 2.8 million new vehicles and outstripping the worldwide auto industry growth of 4%. Econometric models predict that the German car boom will continue in the coming years, producing 3.2m vehicles in 2023 and 3.4m in 2024.

The German economy as a whole saw higher than expected growth of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2022, and 3.7% for the year, and the automotive industry has helped fuel this growth.

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