Why This German Mini-Miracle?

What is “The Secret To Germany’s Low Youth Unemployment“?  Apprenticeship programs, says NPR.  Absolutely no mention of the fact that Germany has no statutory minimum wage as of yet (although Merkel wants one).


  1. This is a murky issue. Nothing against the teaching-on-job programmes (does anyone NOT do these? if you don’t, say goodbye to quality work, that’s for sure…), but stats are notoriously bendy-wendy.

    A google for “Jugendarbeitslosigkeit” brings up this article from august 2011: http://www.taz.de/!76122/

    Is says that the “Statistisches Bundesamt” (federal agency for statistics) issues figures according to an internationally agreed-upon value for “rate of the population without income” (“Erwerbslosenquote”), which, in Germany is at 9.1% for the 15-25y age bracket. Only the Netherlands and Austria have lower values. This counts people without any job at all (unsure how people who have given up looking for a job or get unemployment monies are accounted for here)

    Now, the “Bundesagentur für Arbeit” (federal agency for employment) puts youth unemployment at 11.2%, far higher than the unemployment rate for the german population overall, because it includes people that work less than 15h per week (and that would like to work more given the chance, I suppose).

    Regional differences are huge: Berlin has youth unemployment at 21.1% of young ones getting unemployment monies (“Hartz IV Bezug”), Bavaria only 3.8%. (The Hartz programme itself is pretty interesting as it shows the ongoing tug-of-war between liberals and left-social types … fodder for Mises Dailies)

    Finally, only few of the low-income youth are counted in the unemployment figures: 4/5th of the young ones getting unemployment monies are in education or training.

  2. I doubt it very much, that you can blame it on such a thing. Germany still has a lot of smaller companies very concentrated to makes things right. And this even spreads to the bigger companies. One may see it as our weakness but I think it’s one of our strongest points, most of us still are serious about quality. Yes it’s not all that obvious, but our craftmens are IMHO overall quite good at this also.

    Yes our houses are really expensive, but they are mostly well build and well maintained. And well for Apprentrices the wage has hardly anything to do with the later payments.

    And I’d argue in the middle class upwards there still is the desire to reach something on one’s own work. I guess it’s decreasing, but I think overall we are well beyond average here.

    I guess one of the most important reasons is that we do have companies owned and managed by families (since ages). They do invest massivly in education of their workers because they know we just can get our needed higher prices with really good quality.

    And we still do have some jobs with minimum wages. I doubt those are very important for the overall wealth here.

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