Germany – Employment rate for migrants improving, temporary work a key driver for refugees

The state of employment for immigrants in Germany has shown improvement in the past ten years, with the employment rate for foreign-born workers increasing from 59% in 2006 to 67% in 2017, according to a study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The study looked at the progress in the integration of immigrants and highlighted employment as perhaps the most important driver for successful integration.

Meanwhile, the Federal Employers’ Association of Personnel Service Providers (BAP), citing data from the German Federal Employment Agency (BA), said temporary work was a key driver for the economic integration of immigrants, as “HR service providers were able to write remarkable success stories and the industry has achieved above-average results.”

Figures from BA, which looked at refugees, found that more than 28,200 people seeking protection from eight non-European asylum-receiving countries began working at a HR service provider between August 2017 and July 2018. Thus, more than one third of the total of 79,500 refugees who were able to end their unemployment with employment subject to social security contributions during this period found employment in temporary employment.

“This offers immigrants a real opportunity to enter the job market,” BAP stated.

According to the OECD, the unemployment rate of all those born abroad has more than halved in Germany between 2006 and 2017, reaching 6.9% in 2017.

The OECD added that migrants and their children are much better integrated economically and socially in Germany than they were ten years ago. This applied to the employment situation, the educational success and the risk of poverty, as well as to the experience of discrimination. However, the OECD added that challenges remain including the access to qualified jobs and civil service, but noted that “more people today in Germany believe that the country benefits from migration than at the beginning of the century.”

In the labour market, the OECD found that almost every third working migrant works in a job that requires only low qualifications. In addition, it found that migrant women are more often over-qualified for the jobs they do and work even more often part-time than women born in Germany.

“Overall, the trend in the integration of immigrants in Germany is positive and succeeds better than in countries with a comparable migration history,” OECD migration expert Thomas Liebig, said. “Despite these positive developments, there is still a need for action, especially among the low-skilled, women and children of low-skilled immigrants. ”

Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz also commented, “Although the OECD’s figures show significant progress in integrating immigrants, further efforts, especially in the field of work and education, are urgently needed. We need to become better at recognising professional qualifications and empowering women to better exercise their rights. From the beginning, language support is important in kindergartens and schools, so that all children have fair chances. And the intercultural opening of the civil service must be decisively pursued.”