Work & Salary

Low unemployment
rates in Germany

In 2019, the German unemployment rate was 3.1 percent. This means that Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. While youth unemployment has increased significantly elsewhere in Europe in recent years, dual vocational training has paid off in Germany. In 2019, only 5.8 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds were registered as unemployed.

Gross is not always net

If you conclude an employment contract in Germany and are employed subject to social security contributions, your gross salary will be stated in your contract. However, gross is not always net. This means that you will be paid less than what is stated in your employment contract.

An example: In 2019, the average gross salary across all salary levels was between € 4,802 per month and € 3,935 per month. In the case of employees subject to social security contributions, employers automatically deduct wage tax, the so-called tax, from this gross salary Solidarity surcharge and the contributions to statutory social security. The advantage is that you are financially secure through your social security contributions even in the event of unemployment or illness, in the case of long-term care and in old age. The employers even cover part of the costs. The deductions can vary depending on income, state, tax class, health insurance company and marital status. In 2019, an unmarried person in tax class I in the western German federal states received an average of EUR 2,438 to 2,868 net.

Short working hours, many
vacations and public holidays

Short working hours

Many vacations

Public holidays

In an international comparison of national economies, Germany ranks first in many disciplines. One might think that the Germans achieved their placements through their proverbial hard work, long working hours, hardly any vacation and fewer public holidays than other countries. However, the statistics prove otherwise. In terms of working hours, Germany achieved 1,651 hours per full-time employee in 2014, the third=lowest value in the EU-28. Only France and Denmark had shorter annual collectively agreed working hours. There is also a wide range of vacation and public holidays within the EU: In Germany, employees came to 41 vacation and public holidays in 2014, while the average in the EU-28 was 35.7.

That costs life in Germany

Albert Einstein once said: “The best things in life are not those that you get for money.” That may be true. In 2018, Germans spent an average of € 2,704 per household on everything else. The largest share was spent on housing, energy and home maintenance (908 euros). This was followed by food, beverages and tobacco products and traffic (360 euros each). But leisure and culture are not neglected either: Germans spend EUR 304 per month on sports, cinema and the like.

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