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European Job Market

Employment in Germany


Germany has been relatively late to adapt the industrial revolution that started in the United Kingdom. Remarkably, after WWII there has been significant economic success, also referred to as the ‘Wirtschaftswunder’, that created millions of jobs. When ranked by GDP, Germany is now the fifth largest economy in the world. Germany is an important exporter of machinery, vehicles and chemicals. It is the world’s third largest exporter.


Germany has some 82 million inhabitants, this makes it the most populous country in the European Union. Over 16 million inhabitants can be regarded as of immigrant descent. Over 90% of these immigrants live in the western part of Germany. Berlin is the largest city with 3.5 million people and home to the largest Turkish community in the world, after Istanbul and Ankara.


In the 1960 the German industry was booming and workers were needed to keep the factories functioning and expanding. The first workers came from Italy, Greece and Turkey. Some 15% of immigrants are of Turkish descent. Germany defines itself as an ‘immigrant country’. Germany has been instrumental in the formation of the EU Blue Card, and the specific focus the Blue Card has on highly skilled professionals.


Before the eastern part of Germany was reunited with the western part, east Germany was called the DDR and had full employment. After joining the west, the eastern economy was mostly privatized, this led to an extensive loss of jobs. The 2008 financial crisis had its impact on the German economy, but the jobless rate remained under seven percent. As with many western countries, Germany suffers from a lack of workers, educated in technical professions.

Working in Germany

Germany is a founding member of the European Union and a key initiator of the EU Blue Card. Germany considers the need for skilled immigration the answer to maintain its social systems.

Immigration Office

Government agency for Employment

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