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9/2/15

Germany: Tapping refugees to combat Germany′s labor shortage - "and Europe's aging population"

Migrants are needed as the EU population ages
In Germany, two things are consistently low. One is the unemployment rate; the other is the birth rate.

At 6.4 percent, the number of jobless people looking for work defies labor data in other European countries whose economies aren't nearly as robust.

But the birth rate, one of the lowest in the world, is a lamentable statistic that poses a strong dilemma for German employers.

How long will it take, managers here wonder, for Germany's economic prowess to erode once older workers start retiring without anyone to replace them?

On the other hand, the legions of refugees fleeing war in the Middle East and despotic regimes in Africa might just provide a badly needed source of labor that could help Germany overcome its looming demographic crunch, the government said Tuesday.

Labor Minister Andrea Nahles told journalists that although the labor market on the whole continued to be "an important anchor of stability in Germany," there were many areas of the German economy that had a shortage of skilled labor.

"We want to use this situation to open up the opportunity of a new and better life in Germany for the refugees who have come to us legitimately," Nahles told reporters as she presented the lastest official data on Europe's largest economy.

Note EU-Digest: What now appears to be a refugee drama could eventually prove to be a blessing in disguise for the whole EU in solving shortage of skilled labor and Europe's aging population.

Read more: Tapping refugees to combat Germany′s labor shortage | Business | DW.COM | 02.09.2015

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