A move toward urban wage work in the late Middle Ages and early modern period offered an escape from the countryside. These these wage jobs helped usher in a period of later marriage, less marriage, and more independence for women overall.
In a relatively unhampered market, a declining population is not necessarily an economic problem. But in a system where retirees can loot younger workers through government pension systems, there is a real problem, indeed.
Angela Merkel has caused cultural blowback with seemingly unchecked migrant flows while simultaneously harming business with higher taxes and more anti-business regulation. The results have not been great.