Eastern Europeans filling hundreds of thousands of new German jobs | News | DW | 07.10.2018
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Eastern Europeans filling hundreds of thousands of new German jobs

Hundreds of thousands of new jobs in Germany are being done by workers from Eastern Europe, according to government figures. Employment figures in July were 700,000 higher than in the previous year.

Every second job being created in Germany is being filled by a foreigner, according to  Federal Employment Agency (BA) figures. 

The number of people registered as employed in July was 700,000 more than in the previous year, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported, using the BA figures.

Of that number, Germans filled 330,000 positions and foreigners 370,000. 

Read more: Germany's planned immigration law – what you need to know

In total, there are currently about 1.5 million registered employees from Eastern Europe working in Germany, including 422,000 Poles and 349,000 Romanians.

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BA numbers account for employees who make full social insurance contributions, including payroll taxes and for pensions.

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Only 614,000 people from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are employed in Germany.

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Just 327,000 refugees in Germany are registered employed.

Germany's aging population means that foreign workers are needed to keep the wheels of Europe's largest economy churning.

Otherwise a tight spot

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the newspaper: "Without free movement enjoyed by workers in Europe, we would be put in much more of a tight spot for certain occupations."

Heil praised a recent draft law to update Germany's immigration law. "The law represents huge social and economic progress that no one can roll back," he said.

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The law would, among other things, rank non-EU immigrants according to level of education, age, language skills, job offers and financial security. The aim is to attract skilled workers to maintain the Germany economy's competitiveness.

One issue is a special exemption sought by the Social Democrats for refugees whose asylum applications have been rejected but who are already well integrated in German society.

cw/jm (Frankfurter Allgemeine, AFP, KNA)

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