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Only every eighth Ukraine refugee works in Germany

Refugee Ukrainians are less likely to take regular jobs in Germany than compatriots in other important host countries.

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Only every eighth Ukraine refugee works in Germany

Refugee Ukrainians are less likely to take regular jobs in Germany than compatriots in other important host countries. An evaluation by the EU Commission available to WELT AM SONNTAG shows that around one in eight Ukraine refugees in Germany has a registered job. In Poland, the largest refugee country, this is already the case for every fifth person. The evaluation relates to Ukrainians who held a protection title on January 31, 2023 and were registered in the EU database TTP.

The reason for this difference remains to be investigated. In any case, the level of education of the refugees cannot be the reason for the slow start to a job in Germany: According to the Institute for Labor Market Research, 72 percent of them are “highly qualified”, i.e. have a university degree. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) speaks of very good integration opportunities. The refugees, mostly women, registered for the integration and language courses "mostly quickly after their registration". Around 200,000 have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

For Benjamin Beckmann, head of the BAMF department for integration courses, "language acquisition is the most important thing, so that the Ukrainian women don't just end up in helper jobs, but can also use the qualifications they already have". He also warns against focusing too much on starting a job early: "Better a little later, but then properly."

However, the figures on labor market participation are primarily to be understood as benchmarks. An exact comparison is difficult because of differences in coverage, as explained in the EU document. In Poland, for example, 970,588 Ukrainians held a protective title as of the reporting date. Between March and the end of 2022, around 786,000 Ukrainians were registered in the neighboring country. However, one is only "approximately" sure of around 197,000 that they were carried out by employees with protective titles.

According to the evaluation, around 902,400 of all refugees in Germany, the second-largest host country, have a protection title. They face 120,000 registered jobs. It is noted that the number exceptionally refers not only to the recognized refugees, but to all Ukrainians living here. According to the Federal Employment Agency, "before the war began in February, 57,000 people with Ukrainian nationality were employed subject to social security contributions".

Incidentally, access to the labor market is also easier in Lithuania and the Czech Republic than in Germany. With 439,740 refugees from the Ukraine, the Czech Republic ranks third as a country of refuge; 99,644 were registered as workers there at the end of January. The Netherlands has done particularly well in the employment record so far: 59,040 of the 94,810 refugees work there, i.e. almost two thirds.

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