Staff shortage costs Germany more than 86 billion euros a year

Company staff wanted

A lack of labor costs Germany more than 86 billion euros a year

Germany is looking for workers – by 2050 there could be a shortage of 9 million

Germany is looking for labor – by 2050 there could be a shortage of 9 million

Source: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa

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Germany has to accept high losses due to the lack of personnel – about 86,000 euros per missing employee. In an international comparison, these are the second highest losses after the US. But the United States can close the gap better, a study shows.

AAccording to calculations by the management consultancy BCG, the shortage of labor costs Germany 84 billion dollars (86 billion euros) annually in lost economic output. According to the authors, losses in the German economy are the second highest after the US in a comparison of the economically strongest countries, according to a survey published Monday by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The authors of the study Johann Harnoss and Janina Kugel have prepared the article in collaboration with the United Nations International Organization for Migration. The calculation for Germany was based on figures from the Nuremberg Institute for Labor Market and Labor Research, which reported 1.9 million job openings for the second quarter.

“That’s about a million above the long-term average,” says Harnoss of the dpa. “Both economists and we see that as a structural flaw.” Harnoss and former Siemens HR director Kugel estimate that each of these one million missing workers would generate an average of about $84,000 in economic output per year — a total of $84 billion.

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Even assuming immigration of 300,000 to 400,000 people per year, the number of people of working age would fall by three million by 2035 and by nine million by 2050, Harnoss and Kugel estimate.

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“The $84 billion cost will only grow if we don’t take action,” Kugel said. “While the United States has the most job openings, it is also best positioned to close the gap.” Kugel and Harnoss predict a 19 million labor gap in the United States by 2050, but also an equal number of immigrants.

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Harnoss suggests that Germany specifically recruits workers from countries whose populations are still growing. “One possibility would be to train the people there in their home country before coming to Germany.” This would have advantages for the immigrants, for the countries of origin and for the countries of destination. He cited India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Egypt as examples.

“We must have non-ideological lines,” Kugel argued for a factual discussion on immigration. “If we have an even greater shortage of skilled workers, we will have a very different tone of political discussion,” she said, referring to the affordability of pension and health systems.

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“Where immigration is on a large scale, acceptance is also significantly higher,” argued Kugel, referring to cities like Munich, where a very high percentage of immigrants goes hand in hand with a relatively low influx of extremists.

Kugel and Harnoss advise German medium-sized companies to look more closely at the international labor market – and not just to replace local workers who are leaving. “The more diverse companies are, the more innovative they are,” says Kugel, referring to US tech companies that employ a large number of immigrants.

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