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Business

German skills shortage boosts regular job creation

German companies are offering more permanent jobs as they try to recruit qualified workers amid a widening skills shortage. As a result, the trend towards ever more temporary and part-time jobs has reversed.

The number of German workers employed on a temporary or part-time basis decreased by about 146,00 people in 2012 to a total of 7.89 million, according to figures released by the German statistics office, Destatis, on Wednesday.

At the same time, the number of permanent jobs rose by about 504,000 to 24.2 million, Destatis data showed.

Destatis noted that the decrease in temporary and part-time work last year marked the first time that this section of the German jobs market shrunk while overall job creation surged.

“The German labor market has become tighter,” said Enzo Weber, a senior official of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).

It was becoming more difficult for companies to find qualified personnel, meaning they were hiring former temporary workers as permanent staff, he told German dpa news agency.

In 2012, the proportion of temporary, part-time and other work described by Destatis as "atypical" employment dropped to 21.8 percent of the total German workforce from 22.4 percent in 2011.

Destatis noted that the trend towards temporary work, which was most significant in the wake of the German labor market reforms of the late 1990s, had slowed in recent years. It was now even reversing because Germany's economic expansion was increasingly coping with the impact of demographic ageing.

uhe/ipj (dpa, Reuters, AFP)