To counteract the shortage of skilled workers, there should be an increase in productivity. This is the recommendation of Joachim Ragnitz, deputy head of the ifo Dresden branch.
"When there is a shortage of workers, this increases the incentive to ensure smarter use of the workers that are still available: by imparting new knowledge, by providing better technical equipment for workplaces and by using labor-saving techniques," Ragnitz writes in an essay for the magazine "ifo Dresden berichtet."
"Politicians should therefore pay much more attention to advancing digitization in government and business. This increases productivity and can thus help secure prosperity in this country even as the workforce shrinks," Ragnitz added.
Prosperity at risk
Many see the labor shortage as nothing more than a threat to prosperity, since jobs that are not filled must also lead directly to a loss of value added.
"This is a fatalistic and not very forward-looking view," Ragnitz criticizes.
If productivity increases to a sufficient extent, losses in overall economic value added can be avoided in the event of a shortage of labor.
"Both employees benefit from this via higher wages, and (at least in the long term) companies become more competitive overall."