The influential Wall Street Journal has set its sights on Germany’s migration policy, accusing the country of continuing to pursue more migrants for its workforce despite remarkably poor results up until now.
The paper raises the question of the “paradoxical” situation regarding why Germany continues to lack so many workers despite taking in nearly 13 million people since 2015, citing data from the Federal Statistical Office.
The problem, the paper notes, is that the migrants who are coming are simply not filling the needs of Germany’s high-skill economy. Of the 800,000 working-age Syrians and Afghans who arrived during the 2015 migrant crisis, only a third of them actually have a tax-paying job. Unemployment among foreigners stands at 12 percent, while for Germans it is 5 percent, and as Remix News has also reported in the past, those migrants who are working often work in low-skilled and low-paying jobs that require the state to continue paying out welfare benefits.
“Many refugees are ill-suited for the German high-skilled labor market,” the paper writes, and Germany is also “not good at training them.”
The Wall Street Journal argues that Germany is unsuccessful at attracting labor migrants. The paper writes, “Labor migrants currently only make up one in 10 new arrivals to Germany, compared with one in three to Canada. An earlier European program to draw skilled foreigners, known as the Blue Card, attracted about 70,000 workers to Germany in total over the past decade.”
Germany is looking to introduce reforms to attract more workers, but it faces a major problem. It is a country already dealing with the blowback from a huge migrant influx that has seen 1.2 million arrive in 2022 alone; any attempt to increase labor migrants will also come as Germany takes in more asylum seekers.
Berlin is planning to introduce a points-based immigration system modeled on Australia’s or Canada’s next year, hoping to woo better-qualified foreigners, but migration experts are skeptical. Even if it succeeds, Germany will likely continue to receive large numbers of asylum seekers it can’t employ, who will fill the ranks of welfare recipients or boost crime statistics, where they are already overrepresented.
The paper details a number of employers who have struggled to bring in foreigners, all the way from Deutsche Bahn to local plumbing businesses in Berlin. A professor of social work, Ingo Neupert, began a training program in 2016 for 25 young refugees to become nurses and medical assistants, but only three graduated from the four and half year program, and a shorter version only saw a third graduate. The project has since been placed on hold.
Germany’s population has reached a record high of 84 million, and unemployment is not the only concern; education, social services, and housing are all suffering the burden.
The German government is arguing that the country needs to take in 400,000 migrants a year, but if the past is any guide, this plan faces serious roadblocks. Countries like Japan and Hungary, which are facing demographic issues but are focused on increasing their own native birth rate, may offer an alternative path that Germany should begin considering.