The most demanded workers in Germany have undergone significant shifts recently. Traditionally, mechatronics engineers, banking professionals, and mechanics were among the most sought-after skilled workers in Germany. However, according to the Bertelsmann Foundation, this trend has sharply changed in the last year. The explosion of e-commerce now exerts a significant influence on the German labor market.
The explosion of online retail sales, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, has altered consumer buying habits and increased the demand for warehouse workers. The Bertelsmann Foundation's assessment shows that about 45 million job postings on the internet from 2019 to 2023 were related to employees in this category. In 162 out of 401 districts in Germany, these job postings rank first in recruitment announcements.
Office and secretarial service specialists are most in demand, especially in megacities and major cities. They occupy leading positions in the statistics in 101 districts.
The three professions that recorded the most significant losses from 2019 to 2022 were mechatronics engineers (down 76 positions in the ranking), fitters-mechanics (down 54 positions), and banking professionals (down 43 positions).
"In recent years, employers have shown some restraint towards many specialties. It seems that the situation will change again in 2023," said the study's author, Gunwald Herdin. From 2020 to 2022, the share of skilled workers fell by more than four percentage points, to about 37%. "However, in the first half of 2023, the share of qualified jobs was higher—almost 41 percent."
The most significant growth in the number of sought-after employees is primarily in the healthcare sector. Offers for psychiatrists and psychotherapists have risen in the ranking by 106 places, followed by specialists in paper packaging technology (97 places), educators and pedagogues (62 places), and internal medicine specialists (59 places).
Large Regional Differences
It is worth noting regional differences. "In cities and districts, 17 different professions took first place," says the study's author. "The boom in online trading is clearly visible. Since all purchases are made online, there is now growing demand for assistants and skilled workers in logistics, delivery, and packaging. Completely new opportunities are opening up in the labor market," the author says.
The Bertelsmann Foundation's study also shows that employees of all levels are currently in demand. "Contrary to common belief, these professions will not disappear. Instead, they are constantly changing due to market development and digitization," Herdin added. In addition to warehouse workers, in the first half of 2023, there was a particular demand for employees in cleaning companies (5th place), catering (15th place), and forklift operators (20th place).
For the purposes of the study, the authors evaluated about 45 million job postings for 1210 professions from 2019 to June 2023. Less weight was given to job postings from temporary employment agencies. The reason: the advertising behavior for temporary vacancies does not correspond to typical long-term employment.