BERLIN, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- On an annual average, around 45.3 million people were employed in Germany in 2019, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to the previous year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Thursday.
The increase was lower than the relevant growth of 1.4 percent in 2018. According to Destatis, the employment growth observed in Germany for the past 14 years continued but with "less momentum".
A "higher labor force participation" of the German population as well as "immigration of foreign workers more than offset the effects of demographic change", Destatis noted. The number of people in employment in 2019 was the highest since German reunification in 1991.
In 2019, employment in Germany had "once again developed very positively", Holger Schaefer, senior economist for employment at the German Economic Institute (IW) told Xinhua, stressing that 6.4 million new jobs had been created in Germany since 1991 "despite various labor market crises in the 1990s."
Germany's service sector recorded the highest year-on-year growth in the number of citizens with employment, corresponding to an increase by 319,000 jobs or 1 percent compared with the previous year, according to Destatis.
While the number of employees working in Germany rose by an annual average of 475,000 in 2019, the number of self-employed declined by 1.7 percent to 4.15 million, Destatis noted.
Looking ahead, Schaefer did not expect the positive development to continue because the "economic situation is currently clouding over" and German companies were demanding less labor.
Furthermore, the shortage of labor supply would "intensify" in the coming years, as the generation marked by high birth rates was increasingly retiring. "Although there is no reason for pessimism, in the long term we will have to prepare for lower growth rates," concluded Schaefer.