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What about Skills Shortages? Evidence from the German Job Vacancy Survey
*Martin Dietz, Institute for Employment Research (IAB) 
Alexander Kubis, Institute for Employment Research (IAB) 
Anne Mueller, Institute for Employment Research (IAB) 

Keywords: establishment survey; job vacancies; labor demand; skills shortages

In the public opinion it became more or less a conventional wisdom that Germany is facing skills shortages. Especially since the economic boom following the worldwide economic crisis firms have been complaining about recruitment problems and politicians have been worrying about the competitive power of German firms on global markets. The German Job Vacancy Survey is the only representative survey of job offers in Germany and supplies data for the volume, changes and structures of labor demand. Special attention is given to the recruitment process. The survey offers indicators to the question whether the complaints about skills shortages are reflecting a general economy-wide problem or are at least valid for special segments of the labor market with respect to firm size, regions, formal qualification or occupations. As firms reveal details about job vacancies that are difficult to fill, about their most recent hires and also about recruitment failures the survey presents more reliable information about skills shortages than direct questions on recruitment problems could provide.