The economic upturn had highly positive impacts on Rhineland Palatinate a federal state located in southwestern Germany. The state is characterized by medium and small-sized companies. With most important industries being chemicals, wholesale and retail, as well as wine-growing.
The GDP rose by 4.5% (in 2010) while the average of Germany was severely lower at 3,1%.
Beside the general economic recovery unemployment continued to decrease and reached pre-crisis levels. Furthermore, the demand of companies staff demand remained efficient, especially with metalworking, engineering and electrical job sectors.
Additionally, Rhineland Palatinate had a rise of people employed in the sector of social security. The number rose to an amount that has never been this high before. Not even during times of economic boom after the reuniting eastern and western Germany in 1989.
However, the different parts of Rhineland Palatinate are affected varyingly. This is the same for the varying sectors. While the service sector employees rose in the previous year, logistics and transport is currently growing (after having suffered severe job losses during recession times). Manufacturing, which is quite an important area, has stabilized currently.
Additionally, there is an European Union fund, namely ‘The European Social Fund in Rhineland Palatinate, Germany, 2007-2013’, aiding the economic situation of the state.
The fund, which is an investment in people, aims at increasing the business opportunities of Rhineland Palatinate through boosting economic growth, increasing employment opportunities through providing education and training, especially for people with migrant background or low-skill levels.
The European Social Fund, in short ESF plans to spend more than 10 billion Euro from 2007-2013 across all member states, emphasizing on the location with actual needs.
There are the following five key points of focus regarding ESF funding, according to the EU:
“ – Helping workers and enterprises adapt to changing circumstances in the economy.
– Enhancing access to employment and participation in the workforce.
– Improving training and skills, both for individuals, and through better education and training systems.
– Promoting partnerships between actors such as employers, trade union and non-governmental organizations for reform in the fields of employment and inclusion in the labour market.
– Reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people and combating discrimination in the labour market. “
With these aims in mind, priorities in Rhineland Palatinate are:
1) Improving the adaptability of employees and enterprises
2) Improving human capital
3) Improving access and the social inclusion of disadvantaged people
Furthermore, there are some cross-sectional areas of priority.
The graphic below, taken from the EU ESF information, explains the planed investments in each area up to the year 2013.
Due to the general economic stabilization and it’s fast recovery in Rhineland Palatinate, as well as the great amount of European Union aid, it can be predicted that Rhineland Palatinates Labour market will be improved further in the near future. It can be regarded as a successful case of economic recovery that could be used as an examplatory role model for other regions.