Labour market in Freiburg

Labour shortages

The unemployment rate in Freiburg has decreased since 2005. At that time the rate was still over 10%. In October 2011 6124 people were unemployed. These were 268 unemployed people less than in September 2011. Today the unemployment rate amounts only 5.8%. This is the lowest rate for a long time.

Many companies look for qualified employees, but the market is empty and it is difficult to fill the vacancies. In the gastronomy for example in the restaurant or hotel staff shortages are opened up by recruitment of students. In agriculture the situation is worse. In this field some companies had to reduce the opening hours, because they did not find additional workers.

Freiburg’s largest employer is the university hospital, which employs around 10000 people. Especially in the administrative- and IT-sector it is difficult to find new employees. The appendices in the field of care have very good chances to be taken on.

Low-wage workers

In comparison to the five largest cities in Baden-Wuerttemberg Freiburg has the highest rate of low-wage workers. According to employment agency 22.3% of all full-time employees in Freiburg get a monthly income of less than 1890€. In Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Heidelberg this rate amounts less than 17%. Around 15600 inhabitants of Freiburg are low-wage workers. With the current low-wage rate Freiburg is below the German average rate of 22.8%. But the average rate of Baden-Wuerttemberg with 18.2% is much lower.

This development is primarily the consequence that Freiburg is a service-oriented city. In this sector wages are altogether lower, said Jürgen Höfflin chairman of the German Trade Union Federation. The statistic of the employment agency of Freiburg underlines this thesis and shows especially in various service sectors many low-wage workers. There are 3200 people in health and social services, around 2300 people in trade, 1600 men and women in gastronomy and 1800 persons in subcontracted work who earn less than 1890€ gross.

The sector of subcontracted work is also the field with the highest rate of low-wage employees. In total this field has around 2200 full-time subcontracted workers in Freiburg. This means that four of five (82%) subcontracted workers are low-wage workers. The gastronomy is in second place with 74% low-wage workers.



3 thoughts on “Labour market in Freiburg

  1. It is quite nice to hear that the unemployment rate in Freiburg is less than 6% and is the lowest rate since a long time. Freiburg is after Stuttgart, Munic and Karlsruhe the biggest cit in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and counts a number of good named universities and is also a popular tourist destination from neighbor countries. Although, the tourist season mostly takes place in the summer and therefore, just students will be hired regarding to lower wages and seasonable work instead hiring fixed workers with higher rates throughout the year. This is an advantage for the hundreds of students studying in Freiburg, although they are taking jobs away for regular workers. This is why Freiburg has very little full-time workers and the low-wages as well as seasonable workers will increase even more in the near future if Freiburg’s government won’t change anything regarding to low-wage policies.

  2. It is nice to see that the unemployment rate is decreasing also in Freiburg during the last years like in nearly all parts in Germany. The fact that companies are searching for qualified employees has in my opinion two reason. First the demographic change in Germany is a main point. There are less workers on the market and the birthday in Germany is quite low at this time. Also, old qualified workers cannot hand over their expertise to younger employees because in many sectors there are not enough young professionals. Graduates from school and also from university are especially in the IT-, chemical and biological sector not interested. Therefore it is important to promote these sectors and to make them already in school more popular for pupils and students. The other reason is that many Germans especially in nursing professions do not want to do these kind of jobs. Concerning the low wage workers I think that the temporary working agencies are getting bigger and bigger and have too much power on the german labor market. In my opinion there have to be more regulations for these agencies concerning rights for the employees.


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