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IAB-Working Time Measurement Concept

The IAB-Working Time Measurement Concept (IAB-Arbeitszeitrechnung, AZR) is the key product for the number of hours worked in Germany and underlies the German national accounts figure on labour input. The AZR is of great significance for the comprehensive analysis of labour market trends as well as cyclical fluctuations. It links changes in the number of hours worked as a result of collective agreements and economic fluctuations with changes in the employment structure and types of employment, and thereby produces a differentiated picture of the scope, structure and development of the annual hours worked of gainfully employed persons. The results and estimations of the AZR on working hours and volume of work are part of the short-term projections of the IAB on the labour market appearing twice a year as IAB-Kurzberichte (IAB Brief Reports).

The volume of work – that is, the overall number of working hours carried out in the economy in Germany – are determined conceptionally in a differentiated componentwise accounting concept. This means that calendar effects, collectively agreed standards (working hours and annual paid holidays), economic effects (short-time work, overtime and working time accounts) as well as person-related (sick leave and part-time work) and other miscellaneous components (labour disputes and multiple job holding) can be considered separately. The data for these individual working time components have been gleaned from a multitude of available official statistics and surveys. Their differences concerning the covered period, the type of survey, and the degree of coverage are taken into account in the calculation concept, for instance, via modern methods of time-series analysis. Moreover, the componentwise calculation also makes it possible to identify the contribution made by, and the importance of, these individual working time components for the overall development as a whole.

The quarterly time series of the AZR on average working hours and volume of work of the employed are available in differentiated form

  • for employees or self-employed persons and family workers
  • by quarters since 1991 up to the present margin
  • in the so-called A21-breakdown according to the classification of economic activities, edition 2008 (WZ 2008)
  • for employees subdivided according to working time components as well as according to full-time, part-time and multiple job Holding.

The publications are accompanied by IAB Press Releases.

In addition, the AZR's annual time series on average working hours and volume of work are also differentiated according to gender and age group. These results are available no earlier than 9 months after the end of the respective reporting year.

Data on the development of working hours and their components

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