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Labor and Income

The labor market situation of recent years shows: High employment and low unemployment are possible with the right policies and in a flourishing economy.

About the topic

The German labor market has been in a state of flux in recent years: Due to structural change and digitization, jobs have been lost in some sectors, for example in mining or industry, but at the same time many new jobs have been created in the digital world of work. However, despite recent successes, millions of people are still looking for a job, although skilled workers are becoming scarce as a result of demographic change. Going forward, therefore, the goal remains to increase labor force participation, promote occupational mobility, make it easier for people to get into jobs, and keep the shortage of skilled workers at bay for the economy.

Meanwhile, the demands on employees are changing rapidly. Digitalization and internationalization are shaping the world of work. Aging and heterogeneous workforces pose difficult tasks for HR policy. Companies are well equipped if they succeed in balancing the different requirements.

Employees' earnings, i.e. wages and salaries, can be freely negotiated with their employers - in some cases, the leeway is limited by collective agreements. Wage policy also determines how many skilled workers employers can retain. Overall, wages have risen steadily over the past few years, which has led to an increase in prosperity.

German Economic Institute German Economic Institute

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an Analysis Based on the Socio-Economic-Panel (SOEP)
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Trends No. 1 14. May 2022

Children with Non-German-Speaking Parents: an Analysis Based on the Socio-Economic-Panel (SOEP)

Children whose parents lack a good command of German are at a clear disadvantage in the German education system. A dedicated analysis of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) shows that, in 2019, for 10.5 per cent of children under 16 at least one parent, and for 5.2 per cent both parents, were not fluent in German.

IW

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Economic policy lessons from historical debates from 1918 to the present
Helena Bach / Hagen Lesch / Sandra Vogel IW-Analyse No. 148 31. March 2022

The Legitimacy of Free Collective Bargaining in Germany

Since the signing of the Stinnes-Legien Agreement in 1918, the collective bargaining autonomy of Germany’s employers’ associations and trade unions has been the subject of continual political debate and at times its legitimacy even called into question.

IW

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Emigration from Germany with an overall very positive migration balance
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 13 29. March 2022

Emigration from Germany with an overall very positive migration balance

Germany is an immigration country that has recorded large migration gains in recent years. However, the numbers of departures were also at a very high level in 2019 with 1.2 million and 2020 with 970,000. This is mainly explained by the fact that many forms of ...

IW

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Life course migration and regional population development
Wido Geis-Thöne IW-Report No. 6 2. February 2022

Life course migration and regional population development

Against the background of demographic change, Germany is increasingly dependent on immigration to secure growth and prosperity. In this context, the actors at the municipal level must also become active and shape their own regional migration and demographic ...

IW

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Christina Anger

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Read study
an Analysis Based on the Socio-Economic-Panel (SOEP)
IW-Trends No. 1 14. May 2022

Children with Non-German-Speaking Parents: an Analysis Based on the Socio-Economic-Panel (SOEP)

Wido Geis-Thöne

Children whose parents lack a good command of German are at a clear disadvantage in the German education system. A dedicated analysis of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) shows that, in 2019, for 10.5 per cent of children under 16 at least one parent, and for 5.2 per cent both parents, were not fluent in German.

IW

Read study
Economic policy lessons from historical debates from 1918 to the present
IW-Analyse No. 148 31. March 2022

The Legitimacy of Free Collective Bargaining in Germany

Helena Bach / Hagen Lesch / Sandra Vogel

Since the signing of the Stinnes-Legien Agreement in 1918, the collective bargaining autonomy of Germany’s employers’ associations and trade unions has been the subject of continual political debate and at times its legitimacy even called into question.

IW

Read study
Emigration from Germany with an overall very positive migration balance
IW-Report No. 13 29. March 2022

Emigration from Germany with an overall very positive migration balance

Wido Geis-Thöne

Germany is an immigration country that has recorded large migration gains in recent years. However, the numbers of departures were also at a very high level in 2019 with 1.2 million and 2020 with 970,000. This is mainly explained by the fact that many forms of migration have a temporary character. Therefore, it is not necessarily to be regarded as critical.

IW

Read study
Life course migration and regional population development
IW-Report No. 6 2. February 2022

Life course migration and regional population development

Wido Geis-Thöne

Against the background of demographic change, Germany is increasingly dependent on immigration to secure growth and prosperity. In this context, the actors at the municipal level must also become active and shape their own regional migration and demographic policy. This is particularly the case in regions affected by high emigration.

IW

Read study
Home office after almost two years of pandemic
IW-Report No. 2 19. January 2022

Home office after almost two years of pandemic

Christiane Flüter-Hoffmann / Oliver Stettes

This study presents a retrospective and an outlook on the spread and structure of the spatial and temporal flexibilization of work in Germany, Europe and the U.S.

IW

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