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Which sectors are looking to hire in Germany?

The Local Germany
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Which sectors are looking to hire in Germany?
A man works on the engine of an aircraft in a Lufthansa Technik workshop. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Reinhardt

Despite growing concerns that Germany could face a recession in 2023, some sectors are increasingly optimistic and even looking to hire more staff.

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What’s going on?

Last week, Federal Economics Minister, Robert Habeck (Greens), presented Germany's annual economic report for 2023, which showed that gross domestic product is expected to grow slightly - by 0.2 percent - this year.

READ ALSO: Why fears of a recession in Germany are rising

Though Habeck said that the figures were “not good”, he said that the situation is better than had previously been feared – particularly for the jobs sector.

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At the end of 2022, the number of people in employment reached a record high of around 45.7 million, and the labour market is expected to continue its upswing.

"This trend of job creation is expected to continue this year," the German government's annual economic report said and "labour demand is high in many sectors" despite the economic slowdown.

In line with this optimistic outlook for jobs, the latest employment barometer from the Ifo Institute for Economic Research rose in January to 100.2 points from 99.6 points in December.

The Ifo's employment barometer is a survey which asks around 9,500 businesses in the manufacturing, construction, wholesaling, retailing and services sectors to report on their employment plans for the coming three months.

"The fading pessimism in the German economy is also reflected in the labour market," said the head of Ifo surveys, Klaus Wohlrabe.

Which industries are looking to hire?

According to the Ifo's Employment Barometer, the demand for staff rose most sharply in the manufacturing industry and is particularly strong among manufacturers of machinery and in the electrical and electronics industry.  Examples of those affected in the manufacturing industry include companies which manufacture vehicles and parts, chemicals and metal products as well as food and animal feed.

"New employees are being sought, particularly in mechanical engineering and the electrical industry," Wohlrabe said.

READ ALSO: Five well-paid jobs in Germany that nobody wants to do

An example of an industrial company looking for skilled workers at the moment is aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Airbus plans to recruit 13,000 new employees worldwide this year, the majority of which - 9,000 in total - are to be created at European sites.

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The chairman of Airbus' works council in Bremen, Jens Brüggemann, said that the company also hopes to create new jobs in Bremen, while for the Hamburg site, the company recently announced that it would create 1,000 new jobs this year due to a major order from India.

The need for new staff has also increased among service providers - such as transport and telecommunications companies,  accommodation and event providers, architectural and engineering firms, as well as legal, tax and business consultation services.  

In the IT industry, in particular, there are many open positions.

In fact, the report says that while some major firms are shedding jobs, other firms will want to employ the laid off staff. 

"The layoffs at large IT companies are an opportunity for many small and medium-sized companies to hire new employees," the Ifo Institute said in its report.

READ ALSO: German software giant SAP to cut 3,000 jobs

In the retail sector, hiring and layoff plans are more or less in balance in the latest employment barometer, though another study by the Ifo last August found that 41.9 percent of companies in this industry reported problems with a lack of staff. 

In the construction industry, the report also showed that more companies are now willing to hire new staff despite the difficult environment - for example, due to rising material and interest rates. Last summer's Ifo report also found that the 39.3 percent of construction companies were struggling with staff shortages.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The German industries 'most affected' by skilled worker shortage

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