Foreign workers filled over two-thirds of new jobs in Germany in 2022

The Local Germany
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Foreign workers filled over two-thirds of new jobs in Germany in 2022
Workmen guide steel mats into position in the construction of a new apartment building in Bingen, Rhineland-Palatinate. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Just under 70 percent of new jobs in Germany last year were filled by immigrants, including particularly large numbers from Ukraine and the Western Balkans, a report by the German Federal Employment Agency has shown.


The Institute for Employment Research (IAB) recently predicted that the German labour market could be short of up to seven million workers by 2035. The looming labour crisis has led Germany to encourage the migration of workers from abroad by relaxing barriers to entry, with a new "opportunity card" amongst other initiatives.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Germany plans to make immigration easier for skilled workers

Now, an evaluation by the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) obtained by the news portal "Business Insider" shows that workers from abroad are already making a significant contribution to the German labour force.


Of around 642,000 new jobs subject to social security contributions last year, 437,000 were filled by people from abroad - just under 70 percent. Their contribution has more than tripled in the past eleven years: in 2011, immigrants accounted for only 21 percent of the increase in employment.

READ ALSO: Germany looks to foreign workers to ease ‘dramatic’ skilled worker shortage

Workers from Ukraine and the Western Balkans accounted for a lot of the foreign workers filling new positions - 43,000 Ukrainians and 46,000 migrants from the Western Balkans contributed to the increase in employment in 2022 compared to the previous year. 

Immigrants from so-called third countries, such as Turkey or India, accounted for an increase of 129,000 employees subject to social security contributions in 2022 compared with the previous year. The largest contribution came from Indian nationals, with 23,000 more employees than in 2021, followed by Turks with 18,000, Russians with 9,000 and Vietnamese with 7,000 more employees.

READ ALSO: Germany sees 'over 550 percent increase' in Indian IT workers over decade

Against the backdrop of this development, Executive Board member of the German Federal Employment Agency, Vanessa Ahuja says she sees particular potential in workers from countries such as India, Turkey or other third countries: "Even if all domestic levers for securing skilled workers are effective, for demographic reasons that will not be enough to meet the demand for labour."

"We need labour and skilled worker immigration from third countries," she added as internal EU migration is falling.

A look at the qualifications of the new migrant workers also shows how much people from third countries could help to close the labour force gap in Germany. According to the BA analysis, people from third countries who are subject to social security contributions are even slightly better qualified than people from the EU.

Across all employees with particularly high qualifications in Germany, workers from third countries account for almost a quarter (24.3 percent). The proportion of highly qualified Germans is only around five percent higher.


Immigrant - (der) Zuwanderer

Analysis - (die) Auswertung

Labour shortage - (der) Arbeitskräftemangel

Third countries - (die) Drittstaaten

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