German job numbers drop
6 January 2004
WIESBADEN – Employment in Germany in 2003 averaged 38.3 million, down by 392,000 or one percent from the year before, despite a rise in self-employment, the Federal Statistics Office reported Tuesday.
The office said the drop was the worst in 10 years, when in 1993 the German economy had shed 513,000 jobs.
Employees were the worst hit in 2003, with their job-holding numbers falling 1.3 percent to 34.1 million.
But self-employment, under the Berlin government’s new “Ich AG” (Me, Inc.) scheme to encourage people to go into business for themselves, increased 1.3 percent to almost 4.2 million last year, the office said.
Reflecting the structural shifts in the overall economy, employment in the manufacturing sector was hard-hit by the job losses, dropping 2.6 percent. The long-suffering construction sector saw another 5.1 percent decline in jobs.
Comparatively better off was the services sector, which saw only a 0.1 percent slippage in employment, after a 0.5 percent rise in 2002, the office noted.
On an annual average in 2003, some 70.4 percent of all employed persons in Germany worked in the service sector. This compared with 59.2 percent in 1991, the first year after German reunification.
Subject: German news