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Service Sector Employment in Germany and the UK


  • Colette Fagan
  • Brendan Halpin
  • Jacqueline O’Reilly


Given the poor jobs record in Germany since the mid 1990s, much political interest has been shown in the potential for job creation in the service sector. However, service sector employment raises a number of controversial issues associated with the encouragement of low-skill, low-wage jobs in a country traditionally classified as having a high-skill, high-wage equilibrium. Thus, a cross-national comparison with a country like the UK appears to be of interest, where labor market structures are quite different in terms of labour market regulation and levels of female employment (Hall and Soskice 2001; O’Reilly and Bothfeld 2002). Our analysis covers the different patterns of growth in services tracking transition patterns between occupations and employment and non-employment to see how precarious service employment is in each of the countries, and for whom. In conclusion, the empirical analysis is set within national debates in economics, concerning the role of macro-economic policy impacts on the domestic demand for services. The findings are also located in relation to the sociological literature on self-serving households and the impact of strong male breadwinner households, which dampen demand for service jobs. This project is work in progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Colette Fagan & Brendan Halpin & Jacqueline O’Reilly, 2005. "Service Sector Employment in Germany and the UK," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(1), pages 97-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v125_y2005_i1_q1_p97-107

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    Cited by:

    1. Schmelzer, Paul, 2011. "Unemployment and occupational mobility at the beginning of employment career in Germany and the UK," IAB Discussion Paper 201125, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Niebel, Thomas, 2010. "Der Dienstleistungssektor in Deutschland: Abgrenzung und empirische Evidenz," ZEW Dokumentationen 10-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand


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