Current Labour Market Situation

Our motivation is further enhanced by the official numbers of the labour markets: On the one hand there is the shortage of skilled workers in Germany and on the other hand there is an enormous rate of youth unemployment - especially in southern European countries.

Demand: Immense shortage of skilled professionals in Germany

In December 2011, the information technology (IT) sector experienced about 30,500 job vacancies, according to the sector association “Association of German Engineers”. One year earlier, in December 2010, there were only 21,000 job vacancies, which corresponds to an increase of job vacancies of about 50%. In February 2011,  there were already 80,600 job vacancies in the total economic offer of employment - with a rising trend. Despite the downturn of the German economy in the second half of 2012, there were 3.7 job vacancies for each unemployed computer scientist. Companies suffer from these effects and, according to a survey conducted by the “Association of German Engineers”, about 70% of the companies interviewed expect the demand for skilled workers to rise further until 2014. For many technical occupations and professionals in the health care sector, the labour market situation looks just as tense.

In addition, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs predicts a decline of about 6 million people in the labour force for the period between 2020 and 2025. According to the population projection of the Federal Statistical Office, the working age population will, on average, not only decline, but also get much older. The total number of workers declines, whereas the number of workers older than the age of 55 will keep increasing until mid-2020.

Supply: the serious problem of (youth) unemployment in EU-countries

There are many European states that suffer from a high degree of youth unemployment. Spain’s rate of youth unemployment was about 58% in February 2013, Greece’s rate was at about 56%, the rate of youth unemployment of Italy and Portugal was at 38%, France’s was at 26%, Ireland’s was at 31%, Slovakia’s rate was at 35% and Lithuania and Latvia were at about 25%.

Barriers: reduced mobility and much more

Despite this enormous discrepancy, even though there should legally be no barriers at all for EU-citizens who want to work in other EU-member states (Art. 45, Art. 49, Art. 56 TFEU), the occupational mobility of workers within Europe is still not ensured. The legal basis naturally facilitates such a professional move abroad to other EU-member states. Theoretically, there are no barriers at all. However, in practice, there are plenty of barriers due to country-specific requirements concerning the design of CVs or other documents to be submitted.

Other more obvious barriers are, for instance, that Young Professionals do often not know how to contact employers of the different EU-labour markets or do not know where they can search for suitable job offers. A similar picture emerges on the employers’ side: German companies are desperately looking for skilled workers, but they cannot reach young professionnals through their common marketing channels. Essentially, this means that, at first, very fundamental barriers have to be overcome (such as barriers of communication and appropriate matching).