Posted by on January 11, 2020 10:09 am
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460,000 jobs in Germany are linked to exports to the United Kingdom”

Courtesy of the IAB


Around 460,000 jobs in Germany are directly or indirectly linked to exports to the United Kingdom. Around 60,000 of these are employed in the automotive industry. This emerges from a study published on Tuesday by the Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research (IAB). The IAB emphasizes that it is still unclear how future trade relations will be regulated as a result of the UK’s forthcoming exit from the EU.


The size of the workforce dependent on trade with the United Kingdom should not be equated with potential job losses, the labor market researchers explain. The impending exit of the UK from the EU would not reduce exports to zero and could also open up new trading opportunities for German companies. The continuing uncertainty has caused many German companies to look for new trading partners in other markets and to rearrange their production supply chains. In addition, imports from the United Kingdom would decrease. 


“The extent to which business adaptations to the changing conditions in trade with the UK can prevent potential job losses is still an open question,” the researchers said. In February 2019 the IAB already came to the assessment that “A hard Brexit would probably have a negative impact on the economy in Germany. However, the impact on employment is likely to be limited. ”


Germany exported goods and services to the UK worth just under 109 billion euros in 2018. The imports amounted to almost 63 billion euros. The share of exports to the United Kingdom was 6.8 percent of total exports and the share of imports was 4.5 percent.


The UK is Germany’s fifth most important trading partner in terms of exports. In addition to the automotive industry, the mechanical engineering, chemical and pharmaceutical industries in particular export a lot to the United Kingdom.


Most of the jobs related to exports to the UK are in North Rhine-Westphalia (over 90,000). Bavaria follows in second place with a good 80,000 employees, followed by Baden-Württemberg with around 70,000 employees.


Based on the total number of employees, Hamburg and Rhineland-Palatinate, with 1.6 percent each, are most dependent on exports to the United Kingdom, followed by Bavaria with 1.3 percent and Baden-Württemberg with 1.2 percent.