Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Economy

Survey shows the extent of the German labor shortage


According to a recent survey, the shortage of skilled workers in Germany has worsened over the past year. Germany’s health and care sectors are particularly hard hit by the shortage.

Skilled labor shortage in Germany

Companies and companies in Germany are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit skilled workers. That is the result of a survey by the research start-up Civey for the Bertelsmann Foundation, in which around 7,500 corporate decision-makers were interviewed between August and October. The survey found that around 66 percent of businesses, from smaller local businesses to large international corporations, have difficulty finding skilled workers. Conversely, only 29 percent of the companies stated that they were not currently affected by the shortage.

The survey also showed a clear shortage in the care and health sector and underpinned the assertion of the President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, that the health system in Germany is on the verge of a personnel collapse. The retail sector is also suffering from a significant shortage of staff. More than half of company decision-makers complain about the shortage of workers.

The shortage has also affected jobs in the social sector, in the educational sector, as well as in manual and technical professions. It is seen as a nationwide problem from which the federal states of Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia are significantly affected. Berlin, Bremen and the Saarland were also affected, albeit not as badly. “The shortage of skilled workers is becoming more and more a structural problem,” summarizes Alexander Burstedde from the Institute of German Economy.

Experts expect the labor shortage to worsen

The results of this year’s survey paint a bleak picture. Last year, only 55 percent of decision-makers stated that they could hardly find skilled workers, 38 percent stated that they were not affected by the shortage. This shows that the current shortage of skilled workers is worsening from year to year.

In addition, experts and decision-makers from companies predict that the shortage will continue to worsen in the future. 67 percent of corporate decision-makers even expect a shortage of skilled workers in 2022, while the Bertelsmann Foundation states that “demographic change will drastically reduce local skilled workers in the coming years”.

In order to counteract the shortage, companies have called for the targeted immigration of skilled workers. The head of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele, previously said that Germany needs an influx of around 400,000 qualified migrants every year in order to compensate for the shortage of skilled workers in the country. The migration expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Matthias Mayer, calls for the best possible mobilization of the German workforce through the attractiveness of certain professions. This can be done through salary increases or a better work-life balance.

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