View from the Ground
The economy has become much weaker as we enter the second half of 2019, despite GDP growing close to 1.5% in 2018. Nevertheless, the labour market remains stable at the moment. Employment is at a record 44 million and the unemployment rate is correspondingly low at under 5% – the lowest level in years. The question now arises as to how demographic developments (baby boomers starting to retire in the coming years) and the digital transformation will affect the labour market. The important thing here is to quickly develop new skills among employees in order to remain competitive in these new markets.
Klaus Breitschopf, Managing Director, Hays Germany
Key Skills in Demand
- Software Developers
- Integrator IT Security Specialists
- IT Consultants
- Project Managers
- Business Analysts
German economic growth slowed to 1.4% in 2018. The deceleration was broad-based, impacting the automotive and manufacturing industries in particular. GDP growth is forecast to slow further in 2019.
The labour market continues to tighten. Employment rose by 1.3% in 2018 and the unemployment rate reached its lowest level since reunification at 3.4%. The jobs vacancy rate is at its highest level since the vacancy series began in 2006 as firms struggle to fill positions. This is reflected in the European Commission’s Business Survey in 2018, where some 43.6% of manufacturers and 28.2% of service firms said they expected labour shortages would limit production. This is likely to push up wage growth in the future.
The demographic outlook remains unfavourable in the medium term, with the workforce expected to begin shrinking in 2020 even after accounting for immigration.