It is all a question of perspective…
Two years after the peak of the influx, more than 80 percent of refugees were jobless, in a general population whose unemployment rate is 5.5 percent. Successful integration is not assured.
“Germany’s Secret Labor Experiment” (nytimes):
In fact, Germany is moving at full speed with a plan to channel those refugees into its work force. Germany’s political class is doing the country an egregious disfavor by soft-pedaling its muscular, state-of-the-art efforts in labor market integration.
Germany does indeed face a demographic crisis, but it’s not from the influx of refugees. Its population is aging rapidly, and jobs are going unfilled. Over the next decade, Germany is going to need even more — not fewer — immigrants to keep its economy on track and cover growing pension outlays.
So Germany’s going with what it’s got: an abundance of young, overwhelmingly male foreign nationals, a relatively small segment of whom have advanced education or professional training.
Despite the bumps, there’s already evidence of success.
Economists say that a plausible best-case scenario is 50 percent or 60 percent of the current refugee population being employed five years from now — a prediction contingent on successful integration. If this happens, economists say that Germany can accommodate a net migration of about 700,000 people a year.
To get true public support, the country’s leaders have to change the public conversation from one that fears migrants to one that sees how integration can help everyone.