There has been a major jump in the number of southern Europeans working in Germany over the last year, the Federal Employment Agency reported on Thursday. Experts view it as a sign that the crisis is triggering a flood of job seekers who are headed to the more prosperous north.
Germany is becoming an increasingly attractive location for job seekers from Southern Europe, particularly to unemployed Greeks and Spaniards flocking north in recent months in search of work, a study released on Thursday by Germany's Federal Employment Agency (BA) has found.
According to the study, in late May, there was a significantly larger number of people with a Greek, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian passports working in Germany than there was a year ago. The figure climbed to 452,000, or a year-on-year increase of more than 6.5 percent, which is considerably above average. In that same time period, the total labor force only increased by some 1.6 percent.
The figures come from employment data compiled by the agency, some of which are broken down according to nationality. They show that by the end of May, 117,700 Greeks, 46,000 Spaniards, 55,600 Portuguese and 232,800 Italians had jobs in Germany. The agency notes, however, that some of the foreign nationals included in these statistics might have already been living in Germany, but only found a job in this specific period. The majority, however, have probably recently immigrated, it added.
The risk of losing one's job also varies widely for workers from Southern Europe, the figures suggest. While the number of unemployed Italians saw an above-average year-on-year drop of 6.4 percent in June, the number of Spaniards looking for a job in the same period rose by 10.5 percent, to reach almost 8,000. Greeks registered as job seekers rose by 4.1 percent, to 26,800, in that period, while the number of Portuguese in a similar position remained almost unchanged at 8,500.