German employment rises again in second quarter

BERLIN, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — Employment in Germany rose again in the second quarter of this year after beating pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels in the previous quarter, the Federal Statistical Office said on Monday (Destatis).

According to Destatis, the number of people in work rose by 664,000 or 1.5 percent to 45.5 million compared to the previous year. Annual growth rates were as high as in the first quarter of the year.

Although jobs were up 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter, the “spring rebound” reflected in that increase was below the average of the 2017-2019 pre-pandemic years, Destatis said.

Trade, transport and hospitality companies recorded the largest absolute increase in jobs with an increase of 2.5 percent or 241,000 jobs compared to the previous year. These sectors have been particularly affected by closures and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite increasing jobs, the shortage of skilled workers has worsened in many German sectors. Almost every second company is affected, the highest number ever measured, according to a recent company survey by the Munich ifo Institute.

“In the medium to long term, this problem is likely to get worse,” says ifo labor market expert Stefan Sauer.

According to the German Association of Civil Servants (dbb), the state’s public service is already short of 360,000 employees. The number is “hardly a snapshot”, warned dbb President Ulrich Silberbach.

“In the next few years, the number will be significantly higher due to the retirement of the baby boomer generation,” Silberbach told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today.