Our figure of the month 08/2018: Change in the labour force by district type and gender

Labour shortages are already restricting economic development in parts of the economy. With regard to current demographic developments and the imminent withdrawal of the "baby boomers" from the labour market the issue of limited labour supply could become even more relevant. Therefore, it will be illustrated in the following how the labour supply has developed since the last census (2011) and whether differences can be identified between different types of districts and with a view to gender.
The labour supply can be described as the labour force. It includes those people who are currently employed or have been actively seeking a job in the past four weeks while being available for the labour market at short notice. Data from the microcensus about the labour force for the 401 districts and cities in Germany are available at the respective state offices. The chart below shows the change in the labour force between 2011 and 2015. They are subdivided into the four district types classified by the BBSR, based on the population density of a district.

The figures indicate a growing labour force in all types of districts during the mentioned period. In each of the four aggregates by district type the increase in the number of labour supply was higher than the growth of the German population in the same period (2.3 %). While the increases in rural areas with densification attempts (3.1% overall; 0.8% p.a.) and urban areas (3.9% overall; 1% p.a.) do not exceed one percent p.a., they are twice as high in district-free cities (8.1% overall; 1% p.a.). However, sparsely populated rural districts registered the highest growth in the labour force at 2.5 % p.a. or 10.3 % in total. For all four district types, this positive development is largely due to the growth of the number of women in the labour force. In 2015, they accounted for 47% of the total labour force in the district-free cities and for around 46% in all other district types.
In addition to the overall increase of the labour supply, the study shows that especially the female labour force has continued to rise in recent years and that this has led to a supply-side expansion of the labour market, mainly in rural regions. Thus, a positive development on the supply-side can be seen in many places. But whether this is already sufficient to avoid bottlenecks can only be assessed by comparing it with the local demand.

Other figures can be found here.

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