Germany's job protection regulations have kept companies from hiring new employees, a survey revealed Wednesday. More than half of the 859 firms polled by the German New Social Market Economy Initiative (NSMEI) said that job protection rules had caused them to avoid hiring although they had enough work to warrant creating jobs, the
Handelsblatt business daily reported. The problem was most evident among small and medium-sized companies, two-thirds of which had decided against hiring because they considered job protection a barrier. The NSMEI, whose managing director called on Wednesday for easing job protection rules, is made up of business and employers organizations. The German government already loosened the regulations this year so they don't apply to companies with fewer than 10 employees. Trade unions said the survey was misleading because it only aimed to confirm preconceptions.