Will there be a shortage of skilled labor? An East German perspective to 2015

We analyze the supply and demand of skilled labor in an East German federal state, Thuringia. This state has been facing high unemployment in the course of economic transformation and experiences population aging and shrinking more rapidly than most West European regions. In a first step, we use extrapolation techniques to forecast labor supply and demand for the period from 2009 to 2015, disaggregated by type of qualification. The analysis does not corroborate the notion of an imminent skilled-labor shortage but provides hints for a tightening labor market for skilled workers. In a second step, we ask firms about their appraisal of future recruitment conditions, and both current and planned strategies in the context of personnel management. The majority of firms plans to expand further education efforts and to hire older workers. The study closes with policy recommendations to prevent occupational mismatch.

03. December 2009

Authors Herbert S. Buscher Eva Dettmann Marco Sunder Dirk Trocka

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