Low-wage sector in germany: migrants take over the low-wage jobs

40 percent of jobs in the low-wage sector in Germany are held by migrants. In other EU and OECD countries, the figure is only a quarter.

Low-paid jobs are often performed by migrants Photo: dpa

In Germany, significantly more migrants work in low-skilled jobs than in international comparison. While on average in the European Union and the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a quarter of these jobs are held by migrants, in Germany it is 40 percent. This is the result of an integration study by the EU and OECD presented on Sunday on the occasion of the UN migration summit in Marrakech.

According to the study, Austria, Sweden and Norway have similar figures to Germany. In Switzerland and Luxembourg, as many as 60 percent of the generally low-paid jobs are taken by immigrants.

The study also shows that the gap between the unemployment rates of migrants and natives has widened over the past ten years. In all EU and OECD countries, the unemployment rate of migrants is higher than that of non-migrants. The difference is most pronounced in southern Europe due to the difficult economic situation.

The study also found that many well-educated migrants have to work in jobs for which they are actually overqualified, or are even unemployed. There are 33.2 million migrants in the OECD and 11 million in the EU who are considered highly educated. Of these, 8.1 million in the OECD and 2.9 million in the EU work in jobs for which they are overqualified.

Another seven million (OECD) and 2.4 million (EU) from this group are even unemployed. This means that 20.4 million of the 33.2 highly educated migrants do not have jobs commensurate with their education, the study notes.

OECD Secretary-General Angel GuerrIa, presenting the study, urged that the potential of migrants be better exploited. "Much remains to be done in unlocking the untapped potential of migrants for economic and social development in host countries."

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said, "It’s absolutely vital for our economies and societies that immigrant integration works."

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