For the first time, the number of employees in Germany is higher than before the corona pandemic. The trend appears to be continuing: According to the IFO Institute, companies want to hire more people. However, a lack of skilled workers causes problems.
Despite many uncertainties such as the war in Ukraine and the corona lockdowns in China, the most important trading partner, companies in Germany are planning to hire more people. The employment barometer climbed by 1.2 to 104.0 points in May, as the Munich IFO Institute reported in its monthly survey of thousands of companies. "The robust economic development in Germany is also reflected in the labor market," said IFO expert Klaus Wohlrabe. "However, the shortage of skilled workers remains high. Companies cannot fill all vacancies."
In the export-dependent industry, the employment barometer has risen significantly: Mechanical engineering and the electrical industry in particular are looking for staff here. For service providers, the indicator even reached its highest value since October 2018. Tourism and hospitality are therefore urgently looking for employees to cover the pent-up demand caused by the pandemic. On the other hand, the willingness to hire is rather weak in trade and construction.
The employment agencies assume that the recovery course will continue, both with regard to unemployment and employment. "Due to the Corona crisis and the war in Ukraine, the outlook for the next few months is associated with significantly greater uncertainty than in the past," the Federal Employment Agency admitted this month.
Despite the risks, the number of people in work is higher again than before the outbreak of the corona pandemic. In the first quarter, around 45.1 million people were employed in Germany. The number was “above the pre-crisis level for the first time”, as determined by the Federal Statistical Office. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 - the last quarter before the restrictions imposed by the corona pandemic began in Germany - 43,000 people or 0.1 percent more worked.