If France hopes to find a remedy for unemployment, especially for seniors, in parallel with the pension reform, Germany has the opposite problem. Faced with an aging population, the country is facing a growing labor shortage, with nearly two million vacancies according to a study published on Thursday by German employers.
“In Germany, 2 million positions are vacant (…), resulting in a loss of 100 billion euros in value creation”, indicated, during a press conference Achim Dercks, president of the chamber of commerce and of Industry (DIHK), which carried out the study. After interviewing 22,000 German companies, the organization says that “half” of them are having difficulty filling vacancies. A “record”, according to the DIHK.
Germany has been facing, for years, the lack of manpower linked to the aging of its population, in key sectors, such as industry, health, hotels and restaurants, or even construction. This situation has worsened, as in many Western countries, since the coronavirus pandemic, while the employment rate is skyrocketing in the country.
Desire to “facilitate labor immigration”
Currently, nearly 58 percent of companies in the industrial sector complain of a lack of manpower, the DIHK said. The emblematic sectors of German economic power are affected, such as machine tools (67%) and the automobile (65%). “Skilled labour” is particularly in demand, according to the DIHK. “The energy crisis and supply chain problems are not the only deindustrialization risk factors for Germany. Recruitment problems too, ”summarized Achim Dercks.
Among the avenues for reflection to solve the problem, the DIHK cites a “better reconciliation between private and professional life” for employees, “greater participation of the elderly in the labor market” and “the reduction of bureaucracy”. Above all, the DIHK calls for “facilitating labor immigration” and the training of foreigners, particularly Ukrainians, who have recently arrived in the territory.
The German government has already expressed its desire to facilitate its visa policy to attract foreign labour. The coalition, led by the Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals, agreed in November on a points system inspired by the Canadian model to attract non-European foreigners, and will facilitate its naturalization policy. In a document presented last September, Berlin estimated the shortage of skilled workers at around 240,000 by 2026.