The industry will shrink

A new analysis shows: In key sectors such as the automotive industry, far fewer people are likely to work in the future. Elsewhere, more staff are being sought for this.

In the production of Porsche in Leipzig: The auto industry is in the midst of a change.

Dhe structural change in key sectors such as the automotive industry or mechanical engineering is likely to result in significantly fewer people working in the manufacturing sector than today. This is the conclusion reached by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research on the basis of their new, regularly published quality and career projections, which the FAZ has received in advance.

The number of people in employment in industry is therefore likely to decrease from around 7.7 million today to 6.1 million by 2040. In return, due to the aging of the population, the health and social services are likely to be by far the most gainfully employed, around seven million people.

Further skilled labor shortages in the industry

According to the researchers, the corona crisis will lead to a short-term decline in employment. In the long term, however, demographics in particular will limit the growth of the labor market, they write. According to the analysis, this is also the reason why the industry will continue to struggle with a shortage of skilled workers despite a shrinking process due to the pressure to adapt, productivity increases and declining export dynamics.

In almost all manufacturing professions, almost half of the labor force with a professional qualification will be leaving in the next 20 years, according to the report. The number of jobs, however, is increasing, especially in academic professions. It is to be expected that by 2040 around 4.1 million people with a university degree – not including Bachelor’s degrees and FH diplomas – will enter the job market.

It will therefore remain difficult for companies to find personnel in areas already affected by a shortage of skilled workers, such as mechatronics and automation technology, as well as in the plumbing, heating and sanitary areas. The same applies to the medical professions. In the case of jobs at specialist or expert level, on the other hand, recruitment will become more difficult, especially in the IT, information and communication technology professions. In short: software developers and programmers are in demand.

According to the researchers, the trend towards higher qualifications will continue until after the departure of the so-called baby boomers. From 2035 onwards, the qualification structure of the workforce will stabilize, they write. The proportion of professionally qualified people should then be around 38 percent. In order to increase the proportion, the success rates of foreign trainees and students would have to be increased. In the health professions in particular, incentives for immigration must be set in order to find the staff they need, they write.