Hamburg is one of the ‘Länder’ in Germany with the most energetic economic performance. Traditionally, the dominant industries here are commerce and shipbuilding. The port accounts for 10% of the area of the city and is currently undergoing a 73 million euro expansion, which should be completed in summer of 2012.
The metropolitan region, comprising the city-state of Hamburg and its hinterland in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, is of considerable economic importance to northern Germany. With more than 230 000 people commuting into this region from the neighboring ‘Länder’, it is an employment hub. More than 1.8 million people live in Hamburg. The city is truly multicultural and with 14% has the highest proportion of foreign residents in Germany. Most of the foreign inhabitants originate from Turkey, Poland, the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
The economic recovery in Germany is also reflected in the Hamburg economy. The inhabitants of Hamburg achieved a gross domestic product of 88.3 billion euro in 2010, equivalent to 3.5% of German GDP, which amounts to real growth of 3.4%. Temporary estimates for the first half of 2011 show sustained year-on-year economic growth of 2.1% in Hamburg.
In September 2011 there were around 70 000 registered unemployed persons in Hamburg, which matches to an unemployment rate of 7.4%. This represents a year-on-year decrease of around 3 400, or 4.7%. Nevertheless, Hamburg has a comparatively low unemployment rate. The main source of employment in Hamburg is business services, followed by wholesale and retail trade and the repair and maintenance of vehicles and personal and household goods, manufacturing, health care and social work.
The strongest job growth between August 2010 and August 2011 was registered in the area of health care and social work, where the number of jobs increased by around 4000. Wholesale and retail trade and the repair and maintenance of vehicles and personal and household goods came second, followed by business services and logistics, with 1 500 new jobs. In percentage terms, the main growth areas were business services by 6.5%, health care and social work by 4.6%, hotels and restaurants by 3.8% and electricity, gas and water supply by 3%.
Hamburg is Germany’s largest trading centre. Accordingly, the logistics industry and companies involved in foreign, wholesale and retail trade, together with banks and insurance firms, are among the city’s major employers. The media industry is also an important source of employment. Furthermore, there are jobs in industry too, such as shipbuilding and repair and aircraft construction, as well as in the chemical industry. Many highly productive farms are located in the surroundings of Hamburg, like dairy farming, fruit and vegetables.
Hamburg’s economy is still dominated by companies with names known around the world, such as Airbus, Beiersdorf, Hapag Lloyd, Helm, Olympus, Otto Versand, Panasonic or Tchibo. However, these big names should not vague the fact that the growing numbers of small and medium-sized enterprises are also attractive employers.
According to some online Employment Index in Germany, which analyses the online job vacancies, advertised by 280 company websites and more than ten employment exchanges on a monthly basis, Hamburg registered a 3% year-on-year increase in online vacancies in September 2011.
Source: European Job Mobility Portal