Economy and immigration boost German jobs

Favourable economic conditions and an influx of foreign workers boosted employment in Germany to its highest since reunification in 1990, according to data published yesterday as the jobless rate hovers at a historic low.

Around 43m people living in Europe’s largest economy were in work last year.

That’s an increase of 0.8% on 2014 and a 12th consecutive annual increase, the Federal Statistics Office data showed.

It said an inflow of workers from eastern European states including Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia as well as from countries hit hard by the eurozone crisis such as Greece, Portugal and Spain had boosted employment.

Meanwhile, more people already living in Germany had found jobs thanks to the robust economy.

Germany’s unemployment rate has repeatedly reached monthly post-reunification lows in 2015.

It fell in November to 6.3% from 6.4% the previous month.

December’s data is due later today.

Croatian citizens have been able to work in Germany without restriction since the start of July.

Romanians and Bulgarians have been able to take jobs in all EU countries without a work permit since the beginning of 2014.

Germany saw a record influx of migrants last year, with 1.09m entering the country according to one newspaper.

Many are not yet in work, meaning the correlation between that number and the growth in employment was very limited, if linked at all, the office said.

Immigration could shake up German politics in 2016, when five of Germany’s 16 states hold elections in the build-up to the next federal vote a year later.

Chancellor Angela Merkel looks more vulnerable on immigration, and the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party has injected a new element of surprise.


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