Germany’s Shortage of Skilled Workers Is Worsening, Ifo Says


A dearth of skilled labor that’s restraining German output is getting worse.

More and more companies across Europe’s largest economy are short of such staff, according to the latest Business Survey by the Munich-based Ifo Institute, released Wednesday.

More than 43% of the approximately 9,000 firms polled reported suffering from a lack of qualified workers in July — up from just over 42% in April. The all-time high of almost 50% was reached in July 2022.

Germany’s Skilled Workers Shortage Is Worse Than Elsewhere

Data for industry in the second half of 2022

Source: European Commission, KOF, Ifo calculations

“Despite a sluggish economy, many companies are still desperately searching for suitable employees,” Ifo’s Stefan Sauer said in an emailed statement.

Germany endured a recession during the winter after energy prices and inflation surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s since stagnated, dragged down in particular by a slump in manufacturing, though services weakness is also now emerging.

Ifo said the service sector has been hit particularly hard, with three-quarters of legal and accounting companies not finding the applicants they need. There were also record shortages in transportation, architecture, and engineering.

Elsewhere, about 41% of machinery and equipment makers reported deficits, while the overall number for the manufacturing industry improved slightly to just under 35%.

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