Almost 70 percent of new German jobs filled by foreign workers in 2022

Almost 70 percent of new German jobs filled by foreign workers in 2022

A new report has shown that almost 70 percent of all newly-created jobs in Germany in 2022 were filled by foreign workers - an indication of just how much migrants are supporting the economy as the country struggles to contend with a looming labour crisis. 

Foreign workers filled 70 percent of new jobs in Germany in 2022

Experts in Germany have for years been warning that the country is facing a significant labour crisis - with the number of people entering retirement outweighing the number of young people starting work - and that more workers from abroad are needed to fill vacancies and keep the economy ticking over. 

The Institute for Labour Market and Occupational Research (IAB) recently predicted that the German labour market could be short of up to 7 million workers by 2035. The government is stepping up its efforts to recruit workers from abroad with a major overhaul of its immigration policies. One of its cornerstone initiatives is the issuing of a new “opportunity card” for skilled migrants. 

A new report by the Federal Employment Agency, evaluated by Business Insider, has now shown just how valuable efforts like these are already proving to be to the German economy. According to Business Insider, of the 642.000 new jobs subject to social security created last year, 437.000 were filled by foreign workers - almost 70 percent. 

Migration from third countries up as EU migration falls

As Business Insider reports, the proportion of new vacancies filled by foreign workers has more than tripled over the past 11 years: from 21 percent in 2011 to 68 percent in 2022. In 2022, a substantial proportion of the new positions were filled by workers from so-called “third countries”, including India (in 2022 there were 23.000 more Indian employees in Germany compared to 2021), Turkey (18.000), Russia (9.000) and Vietnam (7.000). A large number of workers also came from Ukraine (48.000) and the Western Balkans (48.000). 

At the same time, according to Vanessa Ahuja, head of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), migration from the EU is “ebbing away noticeably”. As she explained to Business Insider, since 2018 the contribution of workers from third countries has overtaken that of migrants from within the EU. The BA’s statistics also show that third-country workers are overall slightly better qualified than migrants from within the EU. 

German government’s immigration policy reforms should help

Ahuja said that the COVID pandemic had stunted the impact of the Skilled Immigration Act, which came into effect in 2020, and that would-be migrants still struggle with bureaucracy. Only 30.000 people migrated to Germany in 2022, for example. However, she welcomed the government’s new reform proposals: “It is important to lower the thresholds and to make immigration into the labour market easier and less bureaucratic,” she said.  

IAB director Bernd Fitzenberg told Business Insider that the government should go further and also facilitate access to the German job market for migrants with good English language skills and make access to regulated professions - like doctors and teachers - easier for foreign workers. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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