German society faces a double division. On the one hand, there's the gap between people with low and high earnings, where the difference has become bigger over time. The second division can be seen in the difference between the worlds of primary and secondary employment, with the latter involving sub-standard wages, insecure job contracts and high unemployment. That segment has also grown significantly over the past two decades. Opportunities for highly skilled workers I expect the labor market situation in the primary segment to improve because of the demographic changes at hand. The baby-boom generation is beginning to be pensioned off, leaving behind a shrinking younger generation. Despite the crisis in southern Europe, Germany is positioned well on global markets. Employment opportunities for highly skilled people will therefore improve. Widespread fears among young people as to their future are unfounded. There's no reason for us to put our heads in the sand: we can and should … [Read more...] about Opinion: Germany’s labor market is split
Labor market research
In a move that has caused alarm among reformists and economists in Germany, Kurt Beck, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has said he plans to throw his weight behind a drive to let older unemployed people draw jobless benefits for a longer time. The SPD is the junior partner in Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat-led grand coalition. The move, which would amount to rolling back a key labor-market change introduced under former Chancellor Schröder, will mean extending unemployment benefits to 24 months for those over 50 years old and to 18 months for jobseekers older than 45. Schröder had these cut from 32 months to 12 months. During this time, jobseekers are entitled to up 67 percent of their last salary, after which they become eligible for a flat-rate benefit of about 350 euros ($500) a month. Campaign for social justice or clever ploy? Wolfgang Thierse, vice president of the German parliament and a SPD member, said there was "huge support" for … [Read more...] about Merkel Ally Backsliding on Unpopular Labor Market Reforms
While in many European countries, the level of unemployment among people from 15 and 24 is well above the national average, young people in Spain are particularly frustrated. The jobless rate for people under 25 in Spain is 44 percent - the highest in the European Union. Many young people in Spain feel like they belong to a "lost generation" that is bearing the brunt of a crisis that wasn't of their making. In Madrid, Barcelona, and other major cities, they have taken to the streets in recent weeks to express their discontent. One reason behind the high jobless rate is an end to the boom in the construction industry - one of the key sectors of the Spanish economy. After the real estate bubble burst, new apartment construction fell by 70 percent. During the boom, many young people left school early, because they could earn good money working on the country's many construction sites. Now they are out of work. Spain's situation, while severe, is not unique in Europe. In Greece, … [Read more...] about Spain shows that youth often bear brunt of bad labor market
This weekend (November 23, 2013), some 40 renowned guests from Europe and the United States met in Munich to discuss the impact of the newest technological innovations on business. Research and development teams of large companies determine how to use the latest in technology to make their products even better, or how to produce their products at a lower cost - whether by using new machinery or by changing workflows. Workers play a key role in this process, as they have to adapt to the constant change in technological advancements. However, this is not always easy. Many of the conference guests are or have been company directors or board chair people and practically all of them have been responsible for cutting jobs. Ideas for more employment David Nordfors from California is a go-getting thinker who engages in debates in the USA and Europe. It was also at his initiative that these clever minds were invited to Germany. The conference’s name, i4j, stands for "Innovation for … [Read more...] about Innovations: Curse or blessing for the labor market?
Despite a marginal seasonal rise in Germany's unemployment rate, the labor market is getting back on track, according to Germany's Federal Employment Agency (BA) in Nuremberg. The BA announced a 0.1 percent rise in unemployment for the month of July, raising national joblessness to 7.6 percent. "The German economy is on the path to recovery. The state of the labor market has continued to improve," said BA chairman Frank-Juergen Weise. More jobs for skilled workers; outsourcing of unskilled labor Experts estimate that of the 39,000 residents who began collecting unemployment benefits in July, 10,000 to 20,000 were seasonally-related, mostly students who were finishing school and heading on to university or vocational training programs in autumn. In June, unemployment shrank in Germany by 88,000 down to 3.15 million. Another study conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation predicted a rising demand for engineers and nurses in coming years. They said there will soon be … [Read more...] about German labor market on track despite slight rise in unemployment
According to raw unadjusted data released on Thursday by the Federal Labor Agency in Nuremberg, the August jobless rate dipped by 0.1 percent to 8.8 percent or 3.705 million -- down from 3.715 million in July. "The good economic situation continues to have a positive effect on the labor market," said labor agency head, Frank-Jürgen Weise. "The number of jobs with full social benefits is growing and the number of unfilled posts is still high." However, the latest unemployment figures were still higher than June's unemployment rate of 3.687 million. Effects of US financial crisis The US housing crisis could still hit Germany's labor market Weise also warned that the upheaval in the US housing sector could still have a delayed repercussions on the labor market, causing a rise in unemployment. Adjusted for seasonal swings, such as summer hires and vacation staffing, the jobless rate remained unchanged at 9 percent from July and at its lowest rate in 14 years. … [Read more...] about German Economic Rebound Boosts Labor Market
The Netherlands has dismantled its barriers one at a time. The first move was lifting restrictions on the number of workers allowed to migrate to the nation from countries that joined the EU; a total of 22,000 workers were formerly permitted entry. In June 2006, the government freed employers in 23 different sectors from the obligation of first having to search for qualified Dutch or other people from old member states before hiring, say, someone from Poland. In December last year, 16 other sectors of the labor market were added to the list. Polish supermarkets in The Hague Tens of thousands of Polish, Czech and Hungarians workers have meanwhile settled in the Netherlands. "The Hague now has a slew of Polish supermarkets," said Günther Gülker of the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Yet the Netherlands' borders did not open completely until March 1, 2007. Since then, workers from new EU-member states are welcome to work … [Read more...] about The Netherlands Opens Up Labor Market to Recent EU Members
It's the European version of the US Green Card - only that it's blue and so it's called the Blue Card instead. Since it was introduced in Germany in August, the hurdles preventing non-EU foreigners from taking jobs in the country have become a bit lower. The Blue Card allows university graduates from non-EU countries to take up jobs which will earn them at least 44,800 euros ($57,546) per year, down from 66,000 euros in the earlier German legislation. The job permit is valid for an initial period of three years. But so far, there hasn't exactly been a run on the card. Is the Blue Card on its way to become a complete failure? Well, it's early days, says Stefan Hardege from the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). What needs to be done right now, he says, is to increase Germany's charm offensive in its search for skilled foreign labor: "We need a more efficient information policy and an advertizing campaign showing the advantages of Germany." Gunilla Fincke … [Read more...] about Blue Card labor scheme convinces few
"By 2020, half of the newcomers to Germany will have found a job," Detlef Scheele, the head of the German Federal Employment Agency, said when asked about the future integration of refugees into the workforce. Figures from the German Institute for Employment Research show that of the refugees that came to Germany in 2013, 33.3 percent of them had found work as of last year (2016). Of those who came to Germany in 2015, only 10 percent have found employment. Lucky ... Saber Yahya from Egypt is one of the lucky ones to have got a job. Saber arrived in Germany in 2015 and now works in an American-style restaurant called "Touch Down" in the western city of Bergisch Gladbach. Although he initially came to the restaurant to obtain vocational training and gain some professional experience, Saber managed to prove his worth. This prompted the owner of the restaurant, Jamal, to offer him a full-time work contract. "Although Saber didn't have any work experience, he … [Read more...] about Refugees find entering German job market tough, but not impossible
A few weeks after taking office in 1995, French Prime Minister Alain Juppe still had a relatively good approval rating. Immediately after his appointment by new President Jacques Chirac, the prime minister threw himself into what he called his "battle for more jobs." But France's government did not have much money to spread around. Public finances were in the red. With about 3 million people unemployed at the time - and, therefore, fewer and fewer people paying into the system - the deficit was increasing by the day. Juppe had a plan. He wanted to raise the pension age for public sector employees and completely reorganize the social security system. Experts describe it as the biggest change since the safety net was strung in 1945. And the prime minister had the French Democratic Confederation of Labor, a major conglomeration of trade unions, on his side. Within a few weeks, though, the wind changed. Several trade unions organized a general strike, and a large part … [Read more...] about Can France liberalize pensions and labor under Macron?