Our figure of the month for Christmas 2019: Short-term employment at Christmas 2019


Social gathering with a warming cup of punch, the smell of roasted almonds and lovely "Last Christmas": Christmas markets are very popular in Germany. They are an important source of sales for the retail trade and for the "retail trade on stalls and at markets" (classification system of economic branches (WZ): 47.8), to which many of the stalls are assigned.

In order to make the most of the visitors' stay, additional staff are hired every year during the pre-Christmas period, so that the number of employees in this sector of the economy rises by a total of 2,500 in November 2018 compared with the previous month to 16,600 – an increase of 18%. However, for around 80% of these 2 500 additional employees, the earnings are so small that they are not obliged to pay social security contributions and for around 50%, the employment relationship is limited to a short period. The number of these short-term employees rose by 260% to 1,600 in November 2017 compared with the previous month. This short-term Christmas effect has occurred in all years since 2008. There, the growth in the number of exclusively short-term employees in November was 230%. In a nutshell: Pre-Christmas employment is often short-lived.


A look at the entire retail sector (WZ 47) allows a comparison of this effect in the cities with, according to Lonely Planet, the best Christmas markets in Germany: while the growth rates of the number of short-term employees in November 2017 compared to the previous month in Frankfurt (43%), Stuttgart (44 %), Regensburg (100%), Dresden (149%) and Nuremberg (172%) are still comparatively low, it is 367% in Heidelberg. In Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the number has risen 25-fold to 254.

Other figures can be found here.

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