In Germany complaints have long been heard from employers about a lack of skilled applicants. Some said jobs could be filled by migrants, while others warned that approach was naive. A new study has the facts.
Large numbers of working migrants in Germany are in skilled jobs, according to a new study.
The Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW), a German employer group, looked at employment figures for migrants from eight main countries of origin – Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.
The study found that about 14,000 migrants are in formal work. Of those, around
60 percent have skilled jobs. More than 9 percent work in professions that
generally require at least a diploma or master’s degree.
420,000 migrants seeking jobs
The study is based on data from the German employment agency, the
Bundesagentur für Arbeit. At the end of November 2017, 420,000 refugees were
registered there as job-seekers. 175,000 were registered as unemployed. The
remainder were enrolled in integration or language courses or were completing
courses through the employment agency.
The data show that a large proportion – three quarters – of migrants in work are employed by small and medium-sized businesses, rather than with bigger firms. T
The study also found that most of the migrants in work are Syrians, followed by Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians. Of those from Afghanistan, more than half are working in high-skilled professions.
As of the end of March 2017, IW figures show that nearly a fifth of working migrants in lower-skilled jobs
were employed in the service economy – as security guards, building supervisors,
gardeners and landscapers. Nine percent were with temporary work agencies,
around 17 percent worked in hospitality, 12.4 percent in business, and over 10
percent in health and social services.
IW researchers say they expect the proportion of migrants who can only find
unskilled jobs – now 40 percent of those from the main countries of origin – to
grow in the future.