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Sick days, over time, part time: some interesting statistics of 2015 in Germany

Feeling stressed is a very subjective thing. It therefore helps to take a look at the yearly study about the world of employment done by the Federal Employment Agency. Recently, said study for 2015 was published. It is compiled out of data about sick days, polls done in companies and work councils, and other sources.


If you feel like you’re barely making a dent in the stacks of work on your desk despite your best efforts, you might be right: It is true that the work force in Germany has worked more than most years since the statistics are done.

More than 43 million people in employment collectively did almost 59 billion work hours. That is about one percent more than in 2014. The volume of hours worked had been higher only once since the reunification.


Together with other factor, this is a strong indication that despite numerous crises all over the world, the labor market in Germany is still growing. That is contrary to various predictions by experts due to the euro crisis, the slowing growth in China and of course the domestic dispute about the minimum wage.


Several reasons can be identified for the good development:


  • Those in employment worked slightly longer hours in 2015 than in the previous year. The average full-time worker in Germany put in about 1,700 hours. Taking into account vacation days, sick days, that is an average of 39 hours per week for full-time workers. Part-time employees didn’t see any noticeable change in either direction, hovering around 700 hours in 2015. Looking at the numbers of the last ten years, though, there has been a significant increase in hours worked in part-time employment.
  • The overall number of employed people grew slightly by a little less than 1 per cent to about 43 million. This may sound like a rather small growth compared to several years ago, however, the level of employment overall is currently very high, so that further growth is barely possible without a parallel increase in population.
  • The amount of paid overtime was 21 per employee, which is only slightly more than the previous year, but you have to keep the overall high level of employment in mind. It is notable that the amount of unpaid overtime compared to 2015 decreased. That was about 25.5 hours on average, meaning the end of a trend that lasted years. Ten years ago, every employee did five hours of unpaid overtime more than even in 2015.

Not a lot of change happened in the area of vacation days. Employees in Germany have on average around 31 days, not including bank holidays, to use for recreation.


The statistic also shows one less desirable development. After several years of steady decline in sick days, 2015 marked a small increase of about half a day.

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Herr Daniel Stock d.stock(@)top-jobs-europe.de