Sunday, August 28, 2016

Despite Early Optimism, German Companies Hire Few Refugees

NPR reports:
A year ago, as Germany opened its borders to a surge of migrants and refugees, Chancellor Angela Merkel said,"Wir schaffen das" — "We can do it." More than a million asylum seekers arrived in Germany last year, and they're eligible to start working after three months.

Many expected that the influx of new arrivals would help Germany's economy, already the strongest in Europe. Big players in German business were enthusiastic. Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Daimler, the big car maker, predicted a new "economic miracle." Frank Appel, the CEO of Deutsche Post, the huge courier company, praised the additional value for the labor market that the refugees would bring.

Germany, like most every country in Europe, has an aging workforce and a low birthrate and needs more young workers in the years to come.

But the miracle hasn't happened. The easy entrance to the German labor market was overestimated, especially for Syrian refugees, says Wido Geis of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The challenges include language skills, education, training and Germany's own bureaucracy.

One out of three German companies says it plans to hire refugees this year or next. But only 7 percent of all German firms have actually done so in the last 24 months, according to the Institute for Economic Studies in Munich, which polled managers earlier this year.
For you rookies out there: migrants that can't speak your language are guaranteed to be on welfare.