The labour market in Berlin

labour market Berlin
Updated 2022-11-01 05:19

Berlin is the largest city in Germany, with over 3.5 million people. According to the European Commission, 40,000 new individuals become Berliners every year, most between the age of 18 and 30. This means that Berlin is attractive to fresh graduates and young professionals who are eager to enjoy the city's vibrant social life, diversity, and relatively low cost of living.

Indeed, Berlin is more affordable than Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Munich, but wages and salaries tend to be lower too. Still, in Berlin, you can have a good quality of life and trust that new jobs are constantly created thanks to a booming start-up industry and vivid entrepreneurial scene. 

Unemployment in Berlin

The unemployment rate in Berlin is significantly higher (8.90%) than the national average (3.0%), according to the most recent stats from September 2022. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Berlin's labor market negatively, but the good news is that the country and its capital city, in particular, are on the way to recovery. The hospitality sector was hit the hardest by the COVID-19-imposed closures, as well as the jobs which are undertaken by less-skilled workers. Nevertheless, the city is doing its best not to return to unemployment highs, which at some point had reached 20%. The jobs with the most demand (and therefore unemployment) are in the categories of hospitality, journalism, teaching, event management, psychotherapy, humanities, biology, and medicine. 

The most promising employment sectors in Berlin

Export industries are particularly huge in Berlin, and as much as half of all sales are to foreign companies and consumers. There is a thriving digital tech sector as well. The communications, engineering, programming, construction, automotive, aviation, chemical, and medical fields are particularly strong. Small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs also find success in Berlin and are some of the strongest facets of the city's economy. If you're thinking about starting a business selling consumer goods such as textiles, home projects, or other kinds of crafting, Berlin offers a market worth exploring.

Berlin has over 40 universities and is considered a go-to destination for students interested in research and innovation. Studying at one of Germany's most prestigious universities, such as the Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, will offer better employment prospects in the local labor market. Nevertheless, to be employable, one should strive to update their skills on a regular basis, expand their personal and professional network in Berlin, and improve their German language skills.      

How to stand out as a candidate in Berlin

Hiring processes in Germany are strict and specific, and in Berlin, even more so since the competition is high in this densely populated city. During the interview, interviewers want to make sure that you match their values, the organization's culture, and can do the work efficiently at the highest standards. A culture of trying new things, failing, and wearing many hats at a company is just not there. So, when presenting your CV and attending an interview, have in mind some key points that you want to highlight about your expertise — what is unique about your professionalism and what you will bring to the company that other candidates won't. 

Tip: Finding a job in Berlin can be challenging. You may want to start by initiating a conversation in the Berlin Forum about your sector.

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