It's been a bad couple of months for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose approval ratings have fallen sharply over her continued support of open-border immigration policies that have allowed over 1 million refugees to flow into the country since 2015. Increasingly more Germans have blamed Merkel for the surge in refugee terrorist attacks over the past couple of months and have shifted their support to more nationalist-leaning political parties. In fact, just a few weeks ago Merkel suffered a massive, embarrassing defeat in her home state to her nemesis, the anti-immigation AfD party (see "Merkel Stunned By Defeat To Anti-Immigrant Party In Her Home State"). Alas, despite calls from voters for a shift in Germany's immigration policies, Merkel continues to double down.
One of the original selling points for accepting migrants from the Middle East was the apparent economic "benefits" associated with adding 100,000s of new, young consumers/laborers to the German economy. In fact, the wave of new immigrants was sold as the perfect solution for Germany's demographic dilemma which is expected to see its working-age population shrink by 6 million people by 2030.
While it sounded like a great plan, it doesn't really work that well if new migrants fail to find jobs and become economically productive members of society which, according to Reuters, is exactly what is happening. Apparently, German companies have only been able to find jobs for about 100 of the 1 million migrants that have recently found their way into the country.
According to the latest figures from the German Labor Office, about 346,000 people with asylum status were seeking jobs in Germany in August. With 100 migrants actually employed, that's an unemployment rate of about 99.97%.
While a "good" start, we suspect Merkel planned be slightly further along by now in achieving her original goal of 100,000 new job opportunities for migrants.
As such, yesterday, Merkel hosted a meeting with the CEO's of Germany's largest corporations to see what could be done to find jobs for Germany's unemployed migrants that were, for the time being, still being supported by the German taxpayers. Apparently, Merkel quickly discovered that it's difficult to employ people who can't prove their qualifications, don't speak German and have an uncertain immigration status.
Many of the companies say a lack of German-language skills, the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications, and uncertainty about their permission to stay in the country mean there is little they can do in the short term.
A survey by Reuters of the 30 companies in Germany's DAX stock market index found they could point to just 63 refugee hires in total. Several of the 26 firms who responded said they considered it discriminatory to ask about applicants' migration history, so they did not know whether they employed refugees or how many.
Of the 63 hires, 50 are employed by Deutsche Post DHL, which said it applied a "pragmatic approach" and deployed the refugees to sort and deliver letters and parcels.
"Given that around 80 percent of asylum seekers are not highly qualified and may not yet have a high level of German proficiency, we have primarily offered jobs that do not require technical skills or a considerable amount of interaction in German," a spokesman said by email.
Other companies cited that migrants are having difficultly meeting German regulatory requirements to pass a background check.
Others among Germany's top listed companies, mainly in the financial or airline sectors, say it is practically impossible for them to take on refugees at all. They cite regulatory reasons such as the need for detailed background checks on staff.
But we thought everyone was being heavily vetted? Surely if refugees can pass a "thorough" government screening they should have no problem with a quick corporate background check, right?