The brightening of the economic situation is causing the high demand for qualified specialists to rise further. Life science and IT specialists are at the top of HR departments’ wish lists.
Most companies are entering the second half of the year with confidence. This is the finding of the new summer 2021 economic survey by the Institute for the German Economy (IW). Half of the roughly 2,000 companies surveyed are expecting increased production in 2021, over 40% want to invest more and around 43% plan to employ more people than in the crisis year 2020.
Optimism has returned, especially in the industry. Despite the existing production restrictions as a result of stagnant deliveries of semiconductors, for example, and remaining pandemic risks, almost 60% expect production to be higher than in the previous year. In terms of investment and employment, over 40% of the companies see an increase this year compared to 2020.
With this recovery, the number of job vacancies for skilled workers in Germany has also increased significantly in the second quarter. With a total value of 174 index points, the Hays Global Skills Index has reached a new high and is around 40 index points above the level before the start of the pandemic (Q1 2020: 136 index points).
However, the individual professional groups have very different needs. Similar to the previous quarter, the highest demand was recorded by the life science specialists (221 index points), followed by IT.
Looking at the movement of skilled workers along the various sectors, it is mainly the public sector, IT companies and the construction industry that are still looking actively for new employees. Demand in the public sector and in the IT industry has reached new highs. The other industries show significant growth.
The Hays Skills Index for Engineering also increased in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter—and has increased continuously since the first coronavirus lockdown. The last time it was this high was nine quarters ago.
With the exception of production engineers, the number of job offers rose steadily or significantly for all positions examined. The strongest increases were recorded by automation engineers and development engineers in the field of automation. This is probably due to the digitalization activities in the companies. The need for process engineers, planning engineers and development engineers is also increasing significantly in the automotive sector.
The strongest demand came from the areas of public administration, mechanical engineering and electronics / electrical engineering / optics. Public administration in particular continues to have a high demand for engineers. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the index values for all positions rose in double digits. This is most noticeable with civil engineers and automation engineers.
Against the background of the pandemic situation in Germany, which is currently easing, analysts from personnel consultancy firm Hays expect that the already high demand for qualified specialists in Germany will continue to increase in the third quarter of 2021.
However, the current Ifo Business Climate Index from August 2021 now reports a clear deterioration in the manufacturing sector. According to this, companies are still very satisfied with the current business, though the outlook for the coming months suffered a significant setback. Companies reported an overall weaker demand and the expectation indicator fell to its lowest level since November 2020. This could have an impact on the need for skilled workers in the next few months.