Experts: Staff shortages due to lack of new employees | Free press

Closed bars, chaos at airports, festivals on the edge – there is a staff shortage in many sectors. The reason, say labor market researchers: too few people were hired during the corona crisis.


After the Corona crisis, many companies are now facing a staffing crisis. According to labor market researchers, this is not due to a massive exodus of workers from sectors particularly affected by the pandemic.

On the contrary, fewer jobs subject to social security contributions have been dissolved in almost all sectors than before Corona, explained Enzo Weber of the Institute for Labor Market Research (IAB) in Nuremberg. Staff shortages resulted from the fact that some companies employed fewer workers during the crisis.

“This is a result across industries,” says Weber. According to an assessment prepared with his IAB colleague Christof Röttger, the number of jobs covered by social security contributions that ended during the crisis (May 2020 – April 2021) fell by around ten percent compared to pre-crisis levels. While the number rose again in spring and summer 2021, it remained below pre-coronavirus levels until November 2021. According to the information, newer data was not available.

In the aviation industry, where flights throughout Europe are canceled or delayed precisely due to a lack of staff, according to calculations by IAB experts, around 28% of flights were decommissioned between March 2020 and December 2021. fewer jobs covered by social security contributions than in the pre-crisis period from March 2018 to December 2019. In the case of other services, it was about 11 percent. less for aviation and almost 60 percent. less for transshipments.

Many employers used abbreviated work

Experts’ explanation: During the crisis, many employers used part-time work and were therefore able to avoid redundancies. Many also tried to retain their own people because there was a shortage of staff, Weber said. And workers would also refrain from layoffs because of poor job prospects.

The Federal Employment Agency confirms this also in the catering industry, where there are usually large fluctuations. During the pandemic, the risk of reorientation was too great for many of the workers there, the spokeswoman said. At the same time, however, there were significantly fewer newcomers from other professional fields or newcomers, for example after an internship or immigration.

However, according to the Federal Agency, people who lost their jobs during the crisis were looking for jobs in other sectors. According to a new study by the German Economic Institute, hotels and restaurants in particular have lost many employees to retail, transport and logistics.

In the first coronation year, the catering industry experienced a net job loss of approximately 47,000 people, according to data from the Federal Employment Agency. In the aviation industry, which includes airlines, airport operations and other air traffic services, the Federal Agency registered 104,000 employees subject to social security contributions at the end of 2021 – down 13%. less than two years earlier. The demand for personnel in aviation competitions also collapsed.

But according to the Federal Agency, that demand is now growing again. A spokeswoman for the Federal Agency explained that the number of unemployed in aviation professions in June 2022 was close to or even lower than the number of job offers. This means that the potential available from the unemployed is very limited as not every job is reported to the employment agency.

“All industries affected by the crown now face the same problem. They all want to cover pent-up demand at the same time and in a short time, ”Weber said. But the labor market cannot afford it that fast. So it assumes that the situation will only gradually improve, and that normalization will not take place until next year – provided that there will not be a sharp corona wave again in the fall. (dpa)

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