Conservative economists warned that introducing a minimum wage might cost 800,000 jobs. But Germany's economy has adjusted quite well to it. Now the old debate has taken a new twist: should refugees be exempt from minimum wage requirements?
The number of people employed in Germany hit its highest-ever level in 2017. Europe's biggest economy added jobs at a pace not seen in a decade, driven by a strong upswing in business activity.
The number of jobless Germans rose slightly in December compared with the previous month. But on an annual basis there have never been more people employed in Europe's biggest economy in the past 27 years.
The German government and businesses should do more to get refugees into the job market, local councils have said. Regional authorities say they are too often left with the task of integration.
The CSU, sister-party to Angela Merkel's CDU, is holding its annual Bavarian retreat to meditate on the conditions for upcoming coalition talks. The conservative party is likely to make a few tough immigration demands.
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