A new study by the German Chamber of Commerce strikes an optimistic note by predicting that the World Cup will have a positive impact on Germany's economic growth.
A month of soccer mania could result in lots of jobs
The 2006 World Cup will create 60,000 new jobs and boost Germany's overall economic growth, a study conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) said.
"We expected the World Cup to create 60,000 jobs and bring a 0.3-percent growth rate to the country next year," DIHK President Ludwig Georg Braun said.
Every third job opening created by the World Cup is expected to be a permanent one.
The World Cup will be held from June 9 to July 9, 2006 in 12 German cities and will officially be the biggest soccer tournament ever. The competition, which in its early years was contested by 16 finalists, rising to 24 in Spain in 1982, and to 32 in France in 1998, will now feature 36 teams from all five continents.
A mega event
With the World Cup being the most popular TV event in the world and a global brand name, the tournament could potentially open doors to even more international markets for the hosting country.
According to the DIHK study, which was based on a survey of around 20,000 companies, most of the jobs will be created in the areas of hospitality management, advertising, professional security and short-term employment services.
Small business is expecting an increase of 2.2 billion ($2.6 billion) euros during the World Cup.
Good news for Germany
The prediction that the World Cup could have a positive impact on the German economy is particularly welcome in view of the new unemployment data published by the Federal Statistics Office on Monday.
According to the preliminary statistics for 2005, the number of employed Germans fell by 0.3 percent last year to about 38.7 million.
"The number of employed in 2005 fell, therefore, to roughly the same level as in 2003," the office said in a statement released Monday.
The overall slight decline in employment, however, does not reveal the extent to which individual economic sectors were hit by recession. Construction, agriculture and manufacturing jobs contracted by 5.0 percent, 2.2 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.
Manufacturing accounted for 7.885 million, or 20.3 percent of all jobs in Germany in 2005, down from 20.6 percent in 2004. The services sector accounted for 27.870 million, or 71.9 percent of employment, up from 71.3 percent in 2004, the office said.