The Federal Employment Agency (BA) has warned that the coronavirus pandemic has led to an even greater decrease in the number of skilled workers in Germany and that the situation will only get worse once the pandemic is over.
German skilled labor shrinks
The coronavirus crisis has forced people across the country out of their jobs, so much so that there are around 500,000 more unemployed in January this year than there were in the same period the last year. However, despite the growing number of unemployed people willing and able to work, the BA has warned that the pandemic has caused a shortage of skilled workers in Germany.
Germany was already suffering from a shortage of skilled workers due to its aging society, and the coronavirus has further slumped their numbers. “Corona is exacerbating demographic development: our aging society has even fewer skilled workers available,” said BA director Detlef Scheele.
Germany needs immigration
The coronavirus has forced Germany to close its borders for all but essential travel, leading to a drop in the number of immigrant workers in Germany over the past year. “Far too few workers have come to Germany,” Scheele said, “Due to corona, immigration from the EU has dropped significantly.” Scheele explained that Germany needs around 400,000 people to immigrate to the country each year to maintain the labor force balance. However, with only 200,000 to 250,000 immigrants, the number of skilled workers will be significantly lower.
Labor market experts agree that with more and more people set to retire in the coming years, Germany needs more immigration, as well as more participation from women and the elderly to the working population, to compensate for the losses.