Status: 08/04/2022 12:44 p.m.
The number of people at work will drop sharply over the next few years. Then the baby boomers will retire. The situation on the labor market is then likely to deteriorate significantly further.
The acute shortage of skilled labour, currently affecting areas such as nursing or crafts, will continue to worsen over the next 15 years. The economy is worried about the retirement of the baby boomers of the 50s and 60s – who are part of the so-called baby boomers. The Federal Statistical Office has just presented new figures. Over the next 15 years, 12.9 million workers will be over retirement age. This represents around 30% of the people currently available on the labor market, based on the year 2021.
While some 60-64 year olds are in a transition phase towards retirement, most of today’s 50-59 year olds are still employed (86%). This latter group comprises 11.3 million workers. The problem for the future: younger age cohorts cannot numerically replace older ones.
The shortage of skilled workers is already acute
The situation on the labor market is already affected by an acute shortage. Just two days ago, the ifo Institute reported a new peak in the shortage of skilled workers. In almost every second company in Germany there is a labor shortage. More companies are having to scale back because they can’t find enough staff, he said. And further: in the medium and long term, the problem is likely to become even more serious.
In an employment study this year, the Competence Center for Securing Skilled Workers (KOFA) writes that currently almost every fourth employee in Germany (22.8%) is over 55 years old. The search for suitable staff will therefore intensify, particularly in professions with a high average age.
replacement demand increases
At KOFA, these include the professional fields of architecture, construction and surveying. The share of employees over 55 in these areas is just over a quarter. In the areas of transport, logistics, protection and security, too, a strong replacement demand can be expected in the coming years. The proportion of employees over 55 who are likely to retire within the next ten years is called replacement demand.
However, there could also be a strong demand for personnel in occupations that currently have more unemployed people than vacancies. According to KOFA, this includes, for example, physiotherapy specialists.
Greater participation of women in the labor market
The Federal Statistical Office cites greater participation of women in the labor market as a possible solution. In all age groups, it remains lower than that of men. For the population aged 30 to 39, the employment rate for women was about eleven percentage points lower than that for men last year. Among those aged 40 to under 65, it was about eight percentage points lower on average. “Greater female participation in the labor market could thus contribute to the activation of a greater overall labor force potential,” he said.
The federal government is also banking on more immigration when there is a shortage of skilled workers and is considering reform of the Skilled Immigration Act (SEG). The aim is to facilitate the influx of skilled workers from abroad. According to estimates by the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research of the Federal Employment Agency (IAB), around 400,000 workers have to move to Germany every year to fill gaps in the labor market due to of the aging of the population.
Raise the retirement age?
Recently, however, the debate over raising the retirement age has erupted again. The chairman of the employers’ association Gesamtmetall, Stefan Wolf, said in an interview with the Funke media group earlier this week that the retirement age of 70 should be gradually increased – also because the age continues to increase. ‘increase.
If you look at the demographic development and the burden on the social and pension funds, the reserves have been exhausted. “We will have to work longer and harder,” Wolf said. However, representatives of the traffic light coalition rejected the proposal. The traffic light parties had already ruled out a further increase in the retirement age in the coalition agreement.