Employment Rates: German Job Rate Increase Near EU Record Due to Participation from Female Workforce
Germany is seeing a substantial rise in employment rate, almost hitting the European Union record at 78 percent employment rate between citizens between the age of 20 and 64. The change is believed due to a corresponding rise in female participation in the country's workforce over the past 10 years.
Bloomberg reported the evidence that the rise in Germany's employment rates can be attributed to the increase of the female workforce. Over the past 10 years from 2005 to 2014, the percentage of female workers rise up to 10 percent. At the end of 2014, about 73 percent women were joining the workforce.
This improvement in the participation of female workers and professionals is strongly believed to be the result of labor flexibility introduced in the early 2000s. The labor flexibility makes it easier for women to work part-time and flexible hours while they can continue to take care of their families and households. Data shows that German women work fewer hours than in any other country in the EU except for Netherlands.
As for now, the EU record holder for the highest employment rate is Sweden at 80 percent employment. However, at this growth rate, at 9 percentage points in the past 10 years, Germany's employment rate is growing faster than any other country in the EU. In fact, the rest of the EU countries' employment rate remained rather unchanged.
Within Germany itself, this employment rate is a record-high not seen after the country's reunification in 1990. According to International Business Times, the eurozone also experienced a slight decline in unemployment rates. In November, the unemployment rate for the eurozone, in general, is at 10.5 percent. The number went down to 10.4 percent in December. The percentage shows the lowest level of unemployment in the eurozone since 2011. As for the EU, unemployment rates are also going down at 9 percent at the end of last year, and it's the lowest level of unemployment in the EU since 2009.
Reuters also noted that the rise of the employment rates in Germany could also be attributed to favorable economic conditions and an influx of foreign workers including 1.1 million migrants arriving from mostly the middle east, as well as muted price pressures and rising wages which helped boost domestic consumption amid global economic slowdown that hurts the exports.
Experts expected that the employment rate in Germany will continue to rise in 2016 as the unemployment rate falls. That would be the case especially if German authorities keep on encouraging and facilitating women to join the workforce.