Migrant unemployment continues to be a major problem with the district of Salzlandkreis seeing only 56 out of 1,530 migrants registered at the jobcentre able to find full-time work.
While the number is up from last year, when 24 migrants were in full-time positions, the total percentage of the total migrant workforce on work is only 3.6 per cent, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung reports.
“The refugee target group still presents a special challenge,” head of the district employment agency Thomas Holz said. Mr. Holz said the main issues are the language barrier and the recognition of qualifications and academic degrees from overseas.
Saxony-Anhalt, where the district is located, had a total of 13,600 migrants with asylum status out of work according to a report from the middle of the year.
While the district is looking for more skilled workers, Holz said he was not optimistic that Syrian and Afghan migrants would be able to fill the various positions due to the difficulty of the language barrier, noting that some migrants had been in the country for years and still struggled to learn German.
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The German Federal Employment Agency claimed last year that 74 per cent of the newly arrived migrants were only fit for menial labour jobs and are unlikely to fill the vacancies for skilled labour that is in demand.
Many economists have countered the idea that mass migration will benefit the German labour market in the long term. A report published by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg last year said that mass migration would more than likely hurt long-term economic growth due to language and quality of qualifications from abroad.
Migrant unemployment will mean that the state and the German taxpayer will continue to pay for the food, clothing, and housing of recently arrived migrants. A report from the German Federal Agency for Employment (BA) earlier this year claimed that half a million asylum seekers were living on government handouts.
In total, the German government spent €21.7 billion (£19.1 billion/ $25.8 billion) on migrant programmes in 2016.