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Data Set Description

Against the background of COVID-19 and various measures to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus, the German Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) has commissioned the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) to document the work situation and stress levels of dependent employees during 2021. To achieve this goal, a total of nine monthly cross-sectional surveys, designed to be representative, were conducted between February and September 2021. In each survey, around 1,000 dependent employees aged 18 to 64 were interviewed by forsa Politik- und Sozialforschung GmbH (forsa).

More precisely, individuals initially identified within the context of forsa’s population-representative daily multi-topic survey, who had expressed their willingness to participate in subsequent interviews, were contacted again and surveyed through computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). The realized sample size, around 1,000 participants in each survey, has become a standard for representative surveys in Germany. Furthermore, respondents were chosen through a systematic random approach, ensuring equal statistical inclusion chances for all individuals in Germany with a household telephone connection. Both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were considered. Additionally, a dual-frame approach was employed, incorporating a substantial number of mobile phone numbers. The basic requirements for the representativeness of the survey results are therefore met.

In terms of content, the survey centered around topics such as remote work during the pandemic, alterations in work circumstances due to the Corona Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, employees' perceived risk of infection at their workplaces, COVID-19 testing availability provided by employers, and the general perception of stress amid the pandemic. Many of the survey questions were asked repeatedly in an identical manner, allowing for a comparison over time.

No dates are included in the datasets as variables. Therefore, the following table illustrates the timing and achieved sample sizes of the surveys.

Table 1: Sample sizes, February - September 2021

Start and end date of the survey wave

Sample Size

February 12 - 19, 2021


March 15 - 25, 2021


March 25 - 31 & April 6 - 8, 2021


April 15 - 22, 2021


May 17 - 25, 2021


June 14 - 22, 2021


July 13 - 22, 2021


August 13 - 23, 2021


September 13 - 22, 2021


Total # of interviews


Date Created: 2023-08-28

Scope of Data Set


Time Periods: February - September 2021


Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Work Situation and Stress Perception of Dependent Employees in the Year 2021 Marked by the Corona Pandemic. Research Data Center of IZA (IDSC).

Researchers working with the “Work Situation and Stress Perception of Dependent Employees in the Year 2021 Marked by the Corona Pandemic” survey are obligated to acknowledge the data base and its documentation within their publications, including the DOI, by using this reference.



Restricted Access

  1. Bonin, Holger (IZA)
  2. Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle (IZA)
  3. Rinne, Ulf (IZA)
Contract Number(s):
  1. Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs - Germany (Funding)

Cross section survey data


Telephone interview


Access to the data is provided to non-for-profit research, replication and teaching purposes. The data is available from the Research Data Center of IZA (IDSC).
Please contact IDSC for any access requests.

Geographic Coverage: