EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

IAB-Establishment Panel

Phase: Anticipation
  • response to COVID-19
  • Support for digitalisation
  • Provision of labour market information
Ultima modifica: 23 October, 2020
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IAB-Establishment Panel


All enterprises.

Main characteristics

The IAB Establishment Panel is a representative annual survey conducted face to face among about 16,000 establishments from all sectors and size classes which have at least one employee who is subject to social security contributions.

The survey started in 1993 in Western Germany and in 1996 in Eastern Germany. It uses a random sample based on the company database of the public employment service, covering about two million firms. Standard questions include the following topics:

  • factors determining employment development (production, turnover, working time, investment and so on);
  • demand for staff and employment expectations (vacancies, staff turnover, employment strategies);
  • status quo and development of technology and organisational aspects and their effects on jobs;
  • use of public support; engagement in education and training.

Each year, questions on special issues can be added. National and regional data analysis is also possible. The IAB-Establishment Panel consists of a major block of identical questions which are asked annually, providing a consistent longitudinal analysis. Furthermore, a set of questions addressing the latest political debates offers an insight into the respondents' current mind set.

Recent topics of the survey are digitalisation at workplace, home office practices, work organisation during COVID-19 pandemic. 


  • Regional funds
  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Regional/local government
Public employment services
The survey is conducted on behalf of the German PES (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).
The data collection for the survey is conducted by Kantar Public Deutschland, IAB does the analysis.


Data provided by the study are used in a wide range of research projects.


Data from the IAB-Establishment Panel are used in many research projects. The annual questionnaire allows for an in-depth analysis of many labour market related topics. The IAB-Establishment Panel can be combined with personal data from the Federal Employment Agency (BA). Both datasets combined are known as LIAB; making it possible to analyse both the supply and the demand side of the labour market.


The IAB-Establishment Panel has a very conservative approach. Changes are are made with caution, take a long time and often concern only details. Furthermore, a study by Bossler et al (2018) shows there is a slight overrepresentation of businesses paying above average wages in the surveyed sample, as well as an overrepresentation of stable businesses. Additionally, start-ups are neglected by design.


A list of recent publications using IAB Establishment Panel data is published on the website of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). A good example is Klempt and Klee's study 'Company employment development and company attitudes in Baden-Württemberg. A gender-specific analysis based on the IAB establishment panel (waves 2000 - 2016)' (2017).
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