Chapter 11: Employment Participation

As the first report of socioeconomic reporting revealed, the aspect of participation in gainful employment is only partially reflected by cross-section statistics. The problems of these statistics can be summarised in two pointed questions:

  • Are the employees of today the unemployed of tomorrow?
  • Which groups participate in labour only in a limited way (or not at all)?

These and similar questions, on which the public and political discourses are predominantly based, is only inadequately answered by labour market reporting. The latter is mainly characterised by the analysis of as-is statistics, i.e. it usually takes a cross-section perspective. Especially the accumulation of risks during occupational trajectory is more or less completely blinded out by cross-section statistics.

In official reporting on the labour market, those measurements which can approximately be described as seen from a longitudinal-section perspective are asserting themselves only hesitantly (e.g. the measurement of the unemployment duration up to the start of a new employment or of a different employment status). However, it is especially this longitudinal-section perspective on which the focus has to be put in the second report on socioeconomic development with recourse to the concept of participation. Thus, ways of measurement have to be found which permit such a perspective.

The structure of the chapter on labour participation results directly from this line of argument. Within the frame of the internet documentation, the structure is mirrored by the differentiation of topics on the navigation panel on the right. The conceptual core of this chapter is a combined cross-section and longitudinal-section perspective on labour participation. A special document, which also can be called up on the menu bar on the right, describes how to conceptually combine these two perspectives.

In the first two sections (resp. topics), accessible via the navigation panel on the right, (public) cross-section statistics are prepared:

  • The section on labour market results provides a detailed analysis of the official labour market reporting as regards to individual groups of employees as well as groups without work or employment of any sort. The results will be commented on and summarised.
  • In the section forms of employment an overview is given regarding the temporal evolution of employment forms. Starting with the year 1968 and reaching up to the latest margin, so called standardised forms of employment (especially normal employment) and non-standardised forms of employment (e.g. fixed-term, marginal and subsidised work as well as agency work) will be documented.

The next two sections (resp. topics) deal with the longitudinal perspective on labour participation. They bring together results from our own analyses with micro data and they complete the official reporting on unemployment by adding a longitudinal-section perspective. The observation of time periods (each time five years) is central to these sections:

  • In the section indices of labour participation different models of measuring are being developed. They serve to look at (wage) labour participation from different perspectives, e.g. concerning changes of employer, changes from employment to unemployment and many other aspects.
  • In the section areas of labour participation the labour force is divided into three different areas: integration, endangerment and exclusion. A separate question concerning the quality of participation is answered by a measuring of low-wage periods of employment in the different areas of labour participation mentioned above.
Indices of Employment Participation more
Areas of Employment Partcipation more
Concept (German)
Erläuterungen zum Konzept des Erwerbsbeteiligungskapitels PDF

Responsibility for this chapter

Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut an der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (SOFI)