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    IfW boss: “We need a million migrants”


    Skills shortage and demographics
    IfW boss: “We need a million migrants”

    Demographic change and the shortage of skilled workers put Germany in a difficult position. Thousands of jobs are now vacant in the service industry and in the skilled trades. The head of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy is counting on more immigration.

    The President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), Moritz Schularick, advocates more immigration as a measure against the shortage of skilled workers. “Our biggest competitive disadvantage is not corporate taxes, but a lack of skilled workers and demographics. We need a million migrants,” said Schularick of the “Rheinische Post”.

    There must be a corresponding openness in the country for this to happen. “That would be the most important structural reform. It requires courage to change,” said the economist. “We would also have to expand early childhood education to keep mothers in the labor market. If we can do both, I’m optimistic for the location.”

    From the point of view of the “economic wise man” Monika Schnitzer, Germany even needs 1.5 million immigrants a year, “if, minus the considerable emigration, we have 400,000 new citizens every year and thus want to maintain the number of workers”.

    Thousands of vacancies

    In total, there were an average of 236,818 vacancies in predominantly manual trades in 2022 – more than ever since the beginning of the observation period in 2010, reported the Competence Center for Securing Skilled Workers (KOFA) of the employer-related Institute of German Economy (IW). And there is also a great shortage in the service industry, with eastern Germany being particularly affected. Around three quarters of legal and tax advisors report a shortage of skilled workers. This is the result of the current skilled labor barometer of the state banking group KfW for the first half of 2023.

    A welcoming culture is therefore urgently needed. “If Intel builds a factory in Magdeburg and also wants to recruit foreign specialists for it, they have to feel welcome there,” the chairwoman of the council of experts for assessing overall economic development recently told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. The new Skilled Workers Act is a step in the right direction.

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