Gainful employment

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According to the European System of National Accounts, employed persons are all civilian economically active persons , i.e. persons who, as employees or self-employed persons or as family workers, carry out an economic activity. The group of economically active persons is made up of the employed and the (immediately available) unemployed .

According to the definition of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the employed include all persons aged 15 and over who are in an employment relationship (employee) or self-employed in a trade or agriculture (self-employed, entrepreneur ) or as family workers in a company Help relatives. People who only do a marginal job ( mini job ) or who are only temporarily employed as temporary workers count as employed persons as well as people who have a one-euro job .


The term employed was not explained in 1973 in Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon , but instead referred to the synonymous word employment . In connection with the neo-Marxist interpretation of wage labor , the term gainful employment developed because, for example, wage-dependent work increased in Germany and became the dominant form of work in the 20th century, so that this word can now also be found in the vocabulary of resolute opponents of Marxist theories .

The assignment to the employed is independent of the actual or contractually agreed working time . In accordance with international practice, people who do not work but who have ties to an employer (e.g. people on maternity or parental leave who have taken this vacation from an existing job) are also considered to be gainfully employed.

Forced labor is not counted as gainful employment , for example in prisons or in the form of a court-ordered punishment under juvenile criminal law.

Statistical collection

Regional differences in Germany (1997)

Domestic and domestic concept

Two concepts are taken into account in the employment accounts in the national accounts . The domestic concept , which is often also declared as the place of residence , and the domestic concept , which is also known as the place of work . The resident concept measures the economic performance of all domestic economic entities , regardless of where they were performed ( gross national income ). The domestic concept , on the other hand, measures all economic services performed in an economic area, regardless of who performed them ( gross domestic product ). According to this, it covers all employed persons, regardless of whether they live in Germany or abroad.


The number of people in employment was last determined in the 1987 census and has been extrapolated since that time. Around 45 different report documents serve as indicators. These include, among other things, the statistics for individual economic sectors, as well as the statistics of the Federal Labor Office on employees subject to social insurance contributions and marginal employees, information on the personnel status statistics on public service personnel , the results of the microcensus and other reports from individual institutions and ministries .

According to a recalculation of the number of persons in employment as part of the national accounts , an average of around 38.8 million persons in employment lived in Germany in 2004 and around 38.9 million persons in employment had a job in Germany.

According to the employment accounts of the Federal Statistical Office , 43,513,000 people residing in Germany ( national concept ) were employed in Germany in 2016 . With a place of work in Germany ( domestic concept ), 43,595,000 people were gainfully employed.

Employees subject to social security contributions

For the statistics in Germany, as a subset of the employed, the number of employees subject to social insurance is an important indicator. Only those employees who are employed and who are subject to social insurance are recorded here.

The number of employees subject to social security contributions in the Federal Republic of Germany is reported monthly by the Federal Employment Agency. For June 2019 this was 33,353,700 people.


There are around 4.2 million people in employment in Austria (2013: 4,175,200), which is relatively exactly half of the population (2013: 49.4%; measurement precise: resident population in private households). The employment rate (based on the 15- to 64-year-old working population, 2013: 4,390,000) was 72.3% in 2013, 77.1% for men and 67.6% for women. This lead for men has shrunk in recent years, but is still quite high by international standards. According to the concept of livelihood through work (self-assessment), however, almost 4 million (2013: 3,952,900) achieve insufficient capitalization, i.e. almost 5% of those in work do not feel legally supported ( minimum wage ), and therefore do not themselves participate in working life.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Employment  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Definition of employed persons, website of the Federal Statistical Office, ( memento of March 19, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) last accessed on March 29, 2019
  2. Meyer's Encyclopedia, Volume 8, page 168
  3. Anneliese Braun: Between Production and Reproduction of Life - Marxist and Feminist Ideas Facing Common Challenges in UTOPIE Kreativ, no. 109/110 (November / December 1999), pp. 114–124
  4. Hein Retter: Theories of Socialization - CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH AGE , Institute for General Pedagogy, Braunschweig 2002, page 19
  5. so in the Austrian internet magazine on November 7, 2017
  7. Employment - Retrieved August 10, 2020 .
  8. a b c Employed persons and employment status. Statistics Austria, (updated content).