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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.

Read the article
Are Supplementary Agreements a Cure-all?
Helena Schneider IW-Trends No. 2 29. June 2021

Achieving Flexibility Within Collective Bargaining in the Metal and Electrical Industry

Companies which are bound by sector-level collective agreements in the metal and electrical industry yet are keen to invest or to protect jobs in times of economic difficulty can negotiate supplementary agreements allowing them to deviate temporarily from the provisions of the sectoral agreements.

IW

Read the article
A Heavy Burden on German Industry
Christoph Schröder IW-Trends No. 2 24. June 2021

An International Comparison of Unit Labour Costs: A Heavy Burden on German Industry

Since 2018 An international comparison reveals the high level of unit labour costs in German manufacturing. In 2020, German unit labour costs were 22 per cent higher than the average in the 27 comparator countries, and 18 per cent above the mean in the rest of ...

IW

Read the article
The Trend Towards Second Jobs – Just a Question of Money?
Roschan Monsef / Holger Schäfer / Jörg Schmidt IW-Trends No. 2 25. May 2021

The Trend Towards Second Jobs – Just a Question of Money?

In recent years, an increasing number of dependent employees have become multiple jobholders.

IW

Read the article
Opportunities for Growth and Consolidation
Michael Hüther / Markos Jung / Thomas Obst IW-Policy Paper No. 10 10. May 2021

Workforce potential of the German economy

Germany’s labour market faces substantial challenges caused by demographic change in the next decade. Looking back over the last 10 years we observe a key role regarding of a successful labour market integration leading to higher employment rates and fostering ...

IW

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149 results
Read study
Are Supplementary Agreements a Cure-all?
IW-Trends No. 2 29. June 2021

Achieving Flexibility Within Collective Bargaining in the Metal and Electrical Industry

Helena Schneider

Companies which are bound by sector-level collective agreements in the metal and electrical industry yet are keen to invest or to protect jobs in times of economic difficulty can negotiate supplementary agreements allowing them to deviate temporarily from the provisions of the sectoral agreements.

IW

Read study
A Heavy Burden on German Industry
IW-Trends No. 2 24. June 2021

An International Comparison of Unit Labour Costs: A Heavy Burden on German Industry

Christoph Schröder

Since 2018 An international comparison reveals the high level of unit labour costs in German manufacturing. In 2020, German unit labour costs were 22 per cent higher than the average in the 27 comparator countries, and 18 per cent above the mean in the rest of the Eurozone.

IW

Read study
The Trend Towards Second Jobs – Just a Question of Money?
IW-Trends No. 2 25. May 2021

The Trend Towards Second Jobs – Just a Question of Money?

Roschan Monsef / Holger Schäfer / Jörg Schmidt

In recent years, an increasing number of dependent employees have become multiple jobholders.

IW

Read study
Opportunities for Growth and Consolidation
IW-Policy Paper No. 10 10. May 2021

Workforce potential of the German economy

Michael Hüther / Markos Jung / Thomas Obst

Germany’s labour market faces substantial challenges caused by demographic change in the next decade. Looking back over the last 10 years we observe a key role regarding of a successful labour market integration leading to higher employment rates and fostering economic growth.

IW

Read study
Findings from the IW Personnel Panel
IW-Report No. 15 10. May 2021

Performance Management in the Covid 19 Crisis

Oliver Stettes

Empirical evidence based on the IW Personnel Survey reveals that around half of the companies in Germany reported negative economic effects of the Covid-19-pandemic.

IW

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