Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung



The population of the main survey in the fourth quarter of every year consists all establishments in Germany with at least one employee subject to social security contributions. A stratified random sample is drawn anew every year from this population. It is stratified by region (West and East Germany), seven establishment size classes as well as 23 industries based on the German classification of industries 2008 (NACE rev. 2), creating a three-dimensional sampling matrix.

Written survey in the fourth quarter of every year

All establishments of the distribution sample are contacted by mail at the beginning of October and are asked to participate in the survey. The mailing includes a cover letter, a privacy/data protection statement, the questionnaire as well as a sheet with instructions on how to fill out the questionnaire and answers to frequently asked questions. A few weeks later, a second mailing with a cover letter reminding recipients of participating is sent out that otherwise in-cludes the same content. Both cover letters include a telephone number to a helpline that takes comments and answers any questions that employers may have about the survey. The field phase usually lasts until the beginning of January, with most responses coming back between the end of October and the beginning of December. The survey is conducted by Economix Research & Consulting commissioned by the Institute for Employment Research.

Telephone surveys in the first, second and third quarters of every year

Short follow-up surveys by phone on core questions are conducted in the three subsequent quarters among participants of the main survey. They complement the written main survey in the respective fourth quarter and enquire and update the most important data points in the main questionnaire, including the number of employees, the assessment of current workforce developments and the number of vacancies. These interviews last on average five minutes. 


The responses of participating establishments are extrapolated using a Generalized Regression estimator (GREG) onto the level of the entire German economy. The procedure incorporates both design and non-response weights, allowing statistically valid statements on the development of labour demand and recruitment processes in the several industries and regions and for different firm sizes. Details on the current extrapolation procedure may be found in the IAB Research Report No. 4/2016 (Brenzel et al. 2016). 

Yearly revision of the IAB Job Vacancy Survey

In order to provide up-to-date information on the number of vacancies as quickly as possible, data for the most recent four quarters is initially extrapolated using preliminary aggregated counts of employed workers from the Federal Employment Agency. Later every year, the extrapolation procedure that produces the total number of vacancies is repeated for the most recent survey wave using the final number of employed workers. 

Publications and advisory policy

Aggregated results of the surveys are published in the form of an IAB press release at the latest six weeks after the end of each quarter. More detailed analyses are published throughout the year both in policy-oriented reports and in scientific journals. They form the basis for policy advice to the Federal Employment Agency, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, governmental departments of the German federal states, the German Council of Scientific Advisors, the European Commission, and the OECD. The micro data of the survey are made available to external researchers in the Research Data Centre of the Federal Employment Agency after the yearly revision.