Indices of Employment Participation

In this second report on Germany’s socioeconomic development, the indices of labour participation serve to evaluate whether and to what extent the labour market is permeable for persons with an unsteady employment record, i.e. how strong their potential for integration, endangerment and exclusion (regarding participation in wage labour) really is.

Using June 30th as a key date, the indices measure the employee’s connection to wage labour from a five-year perspective. Currently they relate to the key date employees of the years 2001 and 2004 and, for a period of five years, measure their:

  • period of employment in percentage terms
  • number of direct changes of company without a period of unemployment or gap in registration
  • proportion of employees staying with the same employer for at least four and a half years
  • share of stable employment
  • share of gaps in registration concerning the entire five-year period
  • changes from employment to unemployment and vice versa.

The results and interpretations regarding the individual indices can be called up via PDF files on the right hand side of this page. There you also find an introduction into the measurement concept of the indices and into the database being used. For the targeted five-year period, the indices, taken together, provide a comprehensive picture of the key date employees’ employment situation, i.e. whether and for how long they are employed, how often they change their employer or are unemployed and much more. Moreover, they complete the analyses of our area model of labour participation by describing people’s labour market behaviour from different perspectives and in greater detail. On the pages provided, the individual indices are differentiated regionally (all Germany, West and East Germany), according to gender, age and educational background.

Based on empirical results, the indices show how, given a negative development of the labour market, employment is shifting in favour of those who intensely participate in gainful employment. During the observation period, persons with unsteady participation were increasingly forced out of employment.

Empirical evidence indicates that this permeability has decreased in the period of observation. Employment increasingly centres on persons permanently present on the labour market. That can be seen in the proportion assigned to two groups of employees:

  • Persons whose current employment has continued for at least four and a half (4.5) years (index ‘employment over 4.5 years’).
  • Persons constantly employed over the previous 4.5 or 5 years but not necessarily having the same employer over the whole period (index ‘stable/secure employment’)

On the key date (June 30th) both groups had been employed for at least 4.5 years.

From 2001 to 2004, the share of those having the same employer for at least 4.5 years has increased by six percent (from 37 to 43 percent). Altogether, in 2004, 54 percent of the ‘key date employees’ had been constantly employed over a period of five years (period 2000 to 2004; ‘firmly employed’) and 67 percent for at least 4.5 years (‘securely employed’). That is 9 percent more than in 2001 (period 1997-2001). This increase in firm and secure employment is not due to the fact that on the German labour market the number of securely employed persons is bigger, but rather that people with unstable employment have increasingly been pushed into unemployment. Given the German labour market’s decreasing ability to offer employment, the weight of stable employment has increased, although the absolute number of those with stable employment has not increased.

Other indices measure the flexibility of ‘key date employees’ within the last five years – in relation to direct changes of the workplace as well as to changes from employment to unemployment and vice versa. Between 2001 and 2004 the direct change of employers (index ‘number of job changes’) in most groups has increased. The number of those changing their employers has risen (from 31 percent in 2001 to 36 percent in 2004), but the frequency has slightly dropped. With those changing their employers, the number of direct changes was 1.6 on average – related to the year 2001; in 2004 it was only 1.5 on average. As far as the changes from employment to unemployment are concerned, the share of persons has hardly changed (ca. 18 percent in 2001 as well as in 2004). However, in the given period, these persons changed from employment to unemployment more often (from 1.8 changes on average in 2001 to 1.9 changes in 2004). Thus, when comparing the two measurement periods, the frequency of circulation between employment and unemployment has increased.

Differentiations – according to gender, age or professional qualification – show marked differences in labour market behaviour. The differentiations are presented and commented on in the PDF files on the right hand side of this page.

During the implementation phase of soeb 2, it is intended to calculate the indices for unemployed persons too in order to describe the labour force potential – with the exception of the so called ‘quiet reserve’ – for a key date from a longitudinal section perspective. This will allow a comprehensive picture of the German labour market’s integration performance to evolve – and also of the category of persons who are either endangered or excluded as far as labour participation is concerned.


Back to chapter 'Employment participation'

Ergebnisse und Kommentierungen für die einzelnen Kennziffern
Beschäftigungszeit PDF
Direkte Betriebswechsel PDF
Beschäftigungsverhältnis über 4,5 Jahre PDF
Anteil stabiles Segment PDF
Anteil Meldelücken an Gesamtzeit PDF
Wechsel Beschäftigung in Arbeitslosigkeit PDF
Wechsel Arbeitslosigkeit in Beschäftigung PDF
Erläuterungen zu den Kennziffern
Längsschnitt-Messkonzepte PDF
Beschreibung der IEBS (Datenbasis) PDF
Indikatorenbeschreibung und Grundauszählung PDF