Who creates jobs

opinion : Positions: Immigration creates jobs

The labor market figures published today are also anything but encouraging: over 4 million people had no job in January. However, the following aspect is often forgotten: Despite the large number of unemployed, more than a million vacancies in Germany cannot be filled or can only be filled with great difficulty. Every second company that is looking for skilled workers cannot accept the jobs offered or cannot carry out planned investments and innovations because the necessary skilled workers are lacking. Surveys among German and European companies have shown that the shortage of skilled workers is seen as one of the most important braking factors for economic growth. That is why many companies are hoping for specialists from abroad.

Of course, the foreign skilled workers do not remedy the structural causes of the skilled labor shortage. This requires a broad education offensive. The young people must be qualified as demanding as possible, the unemployed should be trained so far that they have a real chance on the job market again. However, the effects of such educational reforms will only be felt in the long term.

That is why Germany needs limited immigration of specialists and managers. Immigration must neither be played off against the existing unemployed nor confused with the guest workers of the 1960s. Because the sought-after immigrants do not take away any jobs, on the contrary: They create new jobs, as the average of 2.5 new jobs per green card holder has shown. Immigrated IT specialists, for example, develop new software programs that are then sold, mediated and used by German employees. In addition, they are mostly highly motivated people who, on the one hand, are easy to integrate and, on the other hand, due to their high salaries, even relieve the tax and social security funds through the corresponding taxes. A global competition for the best minds has already broken out in the economy, in which Germany has to present itself as attractive and cosmopolitan.

The draft of the federal government for an immigration law is a step in the right direction, since it wants to steer immigration according to the needs of the labor market. However, some parts of this draft must be improved in detail. This includes, above all, that the temporary immigration of so-called bottleneck workers required at short notice is controlled according to simple rules. In principle, it should be sufficient to provide evidence that the company has searched in vain for three months on the German job market. In this case, companies should be able to freely organize the temporary immigration of labor shortages without being hindered by inadequate bureaucracy. The regional employment offices and the Federal Labor Office could have an accompanying control function. Lengthy regional quota determinations, on the other hand, hardly achieve the goal.

Of course, it cannot be a question of allowing arbitrary immigration into the social systems. It is also important to make corrections in the parts that are intended to reduce the abuse of asylum and concern the financing of integration costs. To this end, the parties in the Bundestag and Bundesrat should strive for a consensus as quickly as possible.

Immigration alone cannot overcome the shortage of skilled workers or the demographic crisis - according to the latest Eurostat data, Germany has the lowest birth rate in Europe. However, both can be alleviated at least in the short to medium term. In order to solve the problems in the long term, in addition to the above-mentioned education offensive, a more effective family policy (especially all-day daycare centers and schools), the extension of working life and long overdue structural reforms are required: working hours, income and protection against dismissal must be made more flexible. In addition, the tax burden should be reduced significantly, especially in the low-wage sector, so that it is worthwhile for an unemployed person to take a job again.

It makes little sense to blame the high unemployment in the low-wage sector on the foreigners living here or the immigrants. They cannot and should not be used as scapegoats for our homemade problems.

To home page