Germany’s immigration agenda

From Foreign Policy:

Germany faces a fundamental migration dilemma. Refugees from poor and war-torn countries flock to it as a haven while skilled professionals from outside of the European Union—workers the German economy sorely needs—tend to shun it. Germany’s efforts to make itself more appealing run up against deep-seated cultural affinities, which explains why a new Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report lists it as only the 15th most attractive country for foreign workers—just behind Portugal, Denmark, and Ireland and way behind front-runners New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Think tanks forecast that the German labor market could be short as many as 7 million workers by 2035.  The country’s goal: 400,000 new professionals a year. [That is more than the annual immigration of professionals into the U.S.]

The list of the sectors crying out for help, according to a foreign ministry portal, is sprawling: raw material extraction, production, and manufacturing; natural sciences; information technology; air transport; and energy technology as well as agriculture; forestry and animal husbandry; horticulture; construction; architecture; and surveying and building technology. This list doesn’t even include vacancies in education, child care, tourism, gastronomy, and retail.

The number of Germans at retirement age will rise from 16 million people today to at least 20 million people by the mid-2030s. Meanwhile, the number of working-age people will drop by between 1.6 million and 4.8 million people in the next 15 years, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

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