7. Employees

The Schaeffler Group employed an average of 71,896 employees (prior year: 65,041) in 2011. The number of employees at December 31, 2011 was 74,031, 9.7 % above the prior year level of 67,509.

Number of employees by region – reporting date

No. 009
Number of employees 1) 12/31/2011 12/31/2010 Change in %
Germany 29,443 27,938 5.4
Europe excluding Germany 22,004 20,063 9.7
Asia/Pacific 11,181 9,258 20.8
North America 6,781 5,866 15.6
South America 4,622 4,384 5.4
Schaeffler Group 74,031 67,509 9.7
1) Figures as of December 31.

The headcount rose by 6,522 across all regions and functional areas in 2011. The Eastern European and Asian companies saw the largest increase in staffing levels in terms of absolute numbers.

Employee qualification and continuing education

The objective of the Schaeffler Group’s human resources development and continuing education [--break--]  activities is to support and qualify employees to meet complex challenges at all times. 3,626 continuing education events took place in Germany during 2011, 1,489 more than last year. The number of participants in continuing education courses increased by 13,010 to 35,199 compared to the prior year. Reasons for the significant increase over the prior year include the end of the special cost saving measures in place until April 2010 and various training projects in 2011, such as project management and MOVE workshops.

Labor turnover

The worldwide labor turnover rate within the Schaeffler Group remained low in 2011; however, it rose slightly by 0.6 percentage points to 2.7 % (prior year: 2.1 %).

Absenteeism due to illness

Worldwide absenteeism due to illness experienced by the Schaeffler Group has decreased slightly by 0.1 percentage points in 2011 to 3.2 %, although it varies strongly across regions.