Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Employment – Boosting employment levels

Indicator 8.5.a, b: Employment rate

SDG-8.5.2

a) total (20 to 64- year-olds) Weathersymbol

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

b) older people (60 to 64-year-olds) Weathersymbol

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicators show the employment rate among the total population aged between 20 and 64 (8.5.a) and the employment rate among the population aged 60 to 64 (8.5.b), measured in each case as a share of the total population of the same age group.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Because of demographic changes, a shortage of skilled labour may occur in Germany in the long term. At the same time, the social security system faces a growing threat of underfunding. The potential pool of labour must therefore be used more effectively in future. The employment rate in the employable age group (20 to 64-year-olds) is to be increased to 78% by 2030. Another objective of the German Government is an employment rate of 60% among older people (60 to 64-year-olds) by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-03-01: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The data source for the indicators is the EU Labour Force Survey, which is integrated into the microcensus in Germany. The Labour Force Survey is conducted throughout each year and is initially summarised by Eurostat in the form of quarterly findings, which are then consolidated into annual average values. It covers the population living in private households but excludes people living in shared accommodation. The available labour force potential in the Labour Force Survey comprises persons who have reached the age of 15 and who, for at least one hour during the reference week, have performed paid work or have acted as unpaid family workers. The survey also includes persons who temporarily did not work, because they were absent, for example because of leave or illness.

It should also be noted that annual average findings have been used for the employment rates since 2005. In previous years, the calculations were based on one fixed reporting week per year. From 2011 onwards, the interviewing was redesigned in order to improve the recording of employment, and the extrapolation factor for population estimates based on the intercensal population updates was adapted in the light of the 2011 census. From the 2016 reference year the sampling frame was updated on the basis of the 2011 census.

The employment rate overall (20 to 64-year-olds) rose by 11.9 percentage points from 68.7% in 2000 to 80.6% in 2019, which means that the target value of 78.0% for 2030 has already been achieved.

The employment rate for among older people (60 to 64-year-olds) rose by 42.2 percentage points from 19.6% in 2000 to 61.8% in 2019. The employment rate for men in that age group had more than doubled, rising by 39.4 percentage points to 66.6%. The rate for women even increased almost fivefold to 57.1%. And so the targeted 60% employment rate for older people in employment was likewise reached ahead of the deadline set in the German Sustainable Development Strategy.

The overall employment rates for women and men have developed in the same direction since 2000 but at different rates. The rate for 20 to 64-year-old men rose in the period under review by 8.1 percentage points to 84.6%, whereas in the case of women it rose by 15.9 percentage points to 76.6%, which was a far more rapid rise, albeit from a lower starting point. When assessing the increase in the employment rate for women, it should be taken into account that this growth was accompanied by an increase in part-time employment. In the year 2000, 61.5% of employed women worked full-time, while 38.5% worked part-time. In 2019 the breakdown was 52.9% full-time and 47.1% part-time. By way of comparison, the proportion of the male workforce in full-time employment dropped from 95.7% in 2000 to 90.5% in 2019.

A breakdown into age groups shows diverse employment rate trends. Among 20 to 24-year-olds, the rate rose from 2000 to 2019 by 2.5 percentage points to 67.3%. Their lower rate of employment compared with the 25- to 59-year-olds is partly due to average periods of training in colleges and universities, which delays their entry into working life. Among 25- to 59-year-olds, by contrast, the employment rate rose to 84.8%, an increase of 8.6 percentage points from 2000 to 2019.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Time series 1

Indicator

8.5.a Employment rate, total (20 to 64-year-olds)

Target

Increase to 78% by 2030

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

Time series 2

Indicator

8.5.b Employment rate, older people (60 to 64-year-olds)

Target

Increase to 60% by 2030

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

Source 2

 Sustainable Development Working Group

Organisation

Sustainable Development Working Group

Data source Sustainable development (only available in German) opens in a new window

Source 3

 Federal Statistical Office

Organisation

Federal Statistical Office