Two older women in Berlin: A gap that can »hardly be compensated for«
Photo: BARBARA SAX/ AFP
Germany could be short of around five million skilled workers by 2030 because hundreds of thousands more are retiring than workers are moving up.
This is shown by a survey by the German Economic Institute (IW).
In 2022 alone, over 300,000 more people will retire than enter the labor market, according to IW economist Holger Schäfer.
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The reason for the gap is the different sizes of the cohorts: The cohort of 1964 has a particularly high birth rate with 1.4 million people.
In 2029, when most of the cohort will retire, those born around 2009 will be re-entering the workforce.
In 2009, however, only around 736,000 people were born.
That is a difference of around 670,000 potential workers.
First the "Zeit" had reported on the calculations of the IW.
High burden for employees
"This is primarily a problem for our social security systems, because they are based on allocations," said Schäfer.
Those who work must therefore provide for those who are retired.
"If the ratio of these two groups changes, then the burden on those who are then employed will be significantly higher," said Schäfer.
"Or those who retire will receive fewer benefits."
In order to counteract the development, either controlled immigration can be increased or a larger number of people can be admitted to the labor market.
However, the size of the difference between the years means that the growing gap can "hardly" be compensated for, said Schäfer.
What is needed is a "huge net immigration" of well-trained workers.
So far, however, this has never been achieved on the necessary scale.
A lot of potential has already been exhausted in the area of employment participation.
"My assessment would be that both instruments, i.e. immigration and increasing labor force participation, will not be able to compensate for this demographic gap overall," said Schäfer.