Employment numbers hit new record
The number of employed people in Germany hit a new record in 2011, said official statistics published on Monday, with more than half a million jobs created last year in Europe's top economy.
There were an average of 41.04 million people working in Germany last year, the national statistics office Destatis said in a statement, a rise of 535,000 people, or 1.3 percent, on the previous 12 months.
It was the first time the number of people working in Germany has risen above the 41-million mark, Destatis said. The population of the country is nearly 82 million.
The gains were spread across the economy, with the service sector registering a 1.2-percent rise in people employed and the construction segment up 1.7 percent.
The statistics also showed that the German economy is increasingly dependent on services rather than manufacturing. In 2011, 73.8 percent of workers were in the service sector, compared to 60.9 percent two decades ago.
Germany has so far been resilient to the eurozone crisis surging around it, with low unemployment and relatively solid growth, despite expectations that it cannot remain immune to the chaos forever.
Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble have warned that this year will be tougher for Germany than 2011, but they also insisted that the economy was in good shape for the challenges ahead.
The most recent unemployment numbers show Germany steady at about 6 percent.