Full-time equivalent

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The full-time equivalent (abbreviation: FZÄ ) or full-time equivalent is an auxiliary variable when measuring working hours. It is defined as the number of hours worked (in a company, region or country) divided by the usual working hours of a full-time employee, for example 40 hours. In companies, the number of FTEs indicates how many full-time positions arithmetically result from a mixed staffing with part-time employees. The corresponding Anglicism FTE ( English full time equivalent ) is also frequently used in the German-speaking area. Employment using FTEs is usually more meaningful than the number of employees, as the latter does not provide any information about the scope of employment.

Use as a macroeconomic parameter

Development of full-time equivalents in Germany

The figure opposite illustrates the use of full-time equivalents. The dark blue line shows an increasing number of employed persons in Germany since the early 2000s. At the same time, the volume of work (the sum of the hours worked) remained roughly the same. As a consequence, employment in the economy as a whole, measured in full-time equivalents, fell, as roughly the same amount of work was distributed among more people. Only in 2013 did the employment level in FTEs return to the level of 2000 and has continued to rise since then.

Use in human resource management


In Germany alternatively used terms are full employment unit ( VBE or FTE ), full-time worker , full-time employees , full force , employees equivalent (FTE) employee capacity (MAC) and in the Bavarian judicial manpower shares (AKA) in use. When calculating the personnel key in day-care centers, the full-time employment equivalent and the full-time care equivalent are used.

The expression FTE or FTE thus forms an established and standardized benchmark ( indicator for benchmarking, for example ).


The full- time equivalent (abbreviation: VBÄ ) is a measure in Austria that defines the maximum quantitative and qualitative personnel capacity of the federal government (headcount).

In Austria it is defined in Section 44 of the Federal Budget Act (staff plan). A permanent position authorizes the employment of personnel up to a full-time equivalent. This means that part-time service contracts can also include more people than permanent positions in the workforce.

The full-time equivalent can be calculated as the extent of employment or the sum of the extent of employment in a position area as a percentage divided by 100.

Calculation example

1 Vollzeitkraft mit 39 Stunden 1 Teilzeitkraft mit 29 Stunden 1 Teilzeitkraft mit 10 Stunden
Vollzeitäquivalent = (39 + 29 + 10) / 39
Vollzeitäquivalent = 78 / 39 = 2,0

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Data source: Institute for Employment Research (IAB), average working hours and their components (as of March 8, 2016)
  2. https://www.lto.de/recht/justiz/j/justiz-habenung-personal-mangel-nachwuchs-pensionierung/
  3. The personnel key in day-care centers . Federal Statistical Office, 2012, p. 5 (methodology of the new personnel key calculation) , accessed on March 10, 2016.
  4. Federal Act on the Management of the Federal Budget 2013
  5. Ordinance on information about personnel expenses and controlling in the area of ​​state teachers