The German job market today

The pandemic seems to have flipped the entire job market around. Digitization was pushed to enable as many workers as possible to work from home. Others got reduced working hours or simply had to stay at home. More than ever people started questioning their work life and even started to change jobs. That caused massive fluctuation in the job market.

In October 2021, Chairman of the German Federal Employment Agency Detlef Scheele said that we’re currently searching for 1.2 million workers, two-thirds of which skilled professionals. As part of demographic change, aging is increasing the bottlenecks in the skilled labor sector. According to current forecasts, the working-age population, i.e., people between 20 and under 65 years of age, will fall by 3.9 million to 45.9 million in 2030. In 2060, there will already be 10.2 million fewer people of working age. Let’s take a closer look at what that means for the jobs in Germany and what the country is doing to fill these gaps.

The German job market before the pandemic

Looking at the German labor market prior pandemic, the lack of skilled staff had already been severe. A study conducted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung which was released in February 2019 states that Germany is dependent on immigration from countries outside of Europe. Referring to this study, by 2060, Germany will require an annual immigration of 260,000 people. The study claims that on a yearly average, roughly 114,000 immigrants can be expected to move from other countries within the EU. Hence, about 146,000 workers would have to immigrate from countries outside the EU.

Germany lacks skilled professionals

Skilled workers ensure innovation and competitiveness, growth and employment, prosperity and quality of life. In view of the demographic development, securing the need for skilled workers is one of the major challenges of the coming decades for all actors from politics, business, and science.

There could be a lack of approximately three million skilled workers, technicians, researchers, and medical professionals by 2030, according to the Prognos Research Institute. Even the Federal Ministry of Labor warns in its most recent progress report of a shortfall of qualified professionals.

The jobs areas particularly affected by the shortage of skilled workers include:

  • Academic professional groups in the fields of medicine, engineering in mechanical and automotive engineering, electrical engineering, IT and software development and programming.
  • Crafts: Electrical installation and assembly, machining technology, plastics processing, pipeline construction, welding technology, mechanical engineering.
  • Nursing: Health, sick and elderly care.

International professionals in high demand

Hiring qualified professionals from abroad is an important aspect of securing enough skilled workers. A cosmopolitan culture is crucial to interest specialists worldwide in a career in Germany – in politics, society, administration and in business itself. On March 1st 2020, the Federal Government passed the Skilled Immigration Act which makes it easier for non-EU citizens with professional qualifications to access the German labor market. This marks a new era on the German employment market. Now, it is easier to access the German job market. Doors are open to any vocation, i.e. any profession and it doesn’t matter anymore whether the job is in high demand or not. However, STEM experts are especially important for the German economy since they work in leading and innovative German industries and, therefore, generate a lot of added value. That’s why Germany actively welcomes foreigners to work in STEM fields. The government has even lowered the minimum required salary for jobs in high demand of skilled workers for the EU Blue Card to 37,752 EUR gross annually and English-speaking job positions are increasing.

What does that mean for people considering to move to work in Germany?

Now is the best time to apply for jobs in Germany from abroad. Even though the pandemic has caused a lot of suffering and limitations, it has also created a huge opportunity for foreigners to search and land a job in Germany with little to no risk. Recruiting has transformed into many job interviews being conducted online rather than in person. Why not apply for a job in Germany from wherever you are currently located? You don’t always have to go for a job seeker visa, i.e. coming to Germany first and then searching for a job here. You also have the opportunity to apply for a job and if you have found employment that is in line with your qualifications, you are able to apply for the EU Blue Card or a residency permit for qualified professionals without having to come to Germany beforehand and without having a minimum level of German. (We recommend you to start learning German from abroad) Now is the right time to enter the German job market and find your job in Germany.

TIPS: before starting to find a job in Germany

Check this government site to see if your skills are recognized in Germany is :

Understand which visa is the best option for you to work in Germany. Ask an immigration expert.

How to do the job search?

  1. My first advise always is to find out whether the company you’re currently working with has subsidiaries in Germany and whether you can arrange an internal transfer to work in Germany.
  2. Search for a job on various general job boards.
  1. Connect with like-minded people as well as potential future colleagues in social media networks and groups. Ask them how they did it to find a job in Germany and copy their process.

Once you’ve found a job that you’re interested in, you need to prepare your job application package: Cover Letter tailored to the company, CV, and certificates.

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