In Germany, people are longer in the labor market than they were ten years ago. The proportion of employed men and women between the ages of 55 and 64 has risen from 62 percent in 2012 to almost 72 percent in 2021, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

Within the EU, only the Scandinavian countries of Sweden (77 percent) and Denmark (72 percent) had higher rates. During the same period, the EU average rose by 13 points to 60 percent employment in this age group.

Even after the age of 64, people in Germany are more often still in work, partly because the retirement age is gradually increasing to 67. In the group of 65 to 69 year olds, 17 percent still had a job in this country compared to the EU average of 13 percent. In some northern European states, however, the rate is significantly higher, for example up to 32 percent in Estonia. Basically, people with high qualifications are employed longer than those with low professional qualifications.

Fewer young workers are coming

According to further evaluations of the microcensus, the demographic development is also reflected in future shortage occupations. For example, within the ten years observed, the proportion of employees from the age group 55+ rose from 15 to 23 percent in nursing and from 17 to 24 percent in the natural science MINT professions.

The statistics authority expects that because fewer young workers will follow, existing shortages will worsen. “In the future, however, higher employment participation among older people will hardly be able to compensate for the fact that the younger population is declining and that there are significantly fewer workers in these age groups,” explained labor market expert Frank Schüller.