Hightech businesses still job generators

According to the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), the German high-tech industry is going to generated additional jobs in 2008 despite financial crisis and slow down in the economy as a whole. For 2008 BITKOM predicts about 3,000 new jobs in addition to 826,000 already existing in the field of information technology and telecommunications. In the year 2007, which was a record year, 3,000 new jobs had been expected and finally 13,000 of them were in fact generated. Particular job generators are software companies and information technology service providers which created about 100,000 new jobs since the year 2001.

Prof. August-Wilhelm Scheer who is BITKOM chairman said that so far the crisis on financial markets had not yet affected the German labour market for IT specialists. Many businesses were even suffering from a shortage of highly qualified personnel. Nevertheless, Mr. Scheer warned that this sector could only continue creating new jobs if the financial crisis was overcome rapidly and the education system reformed.

According to a BITKOM survey, about half of all companies in the field of information technology and telecommunications will create new jobs in 2008. In about one third the number of employees will presumably remain unchanged and 16% will have to cut jobs. As in recent years the driving factor is information technology where the number of new jobs will probably amount to 16,000 as compared to last year.

With regard to the manufacturers of communication technology and providers of telecommunication services, however, about 13,000 jobs will have to be cut. Mr. Scheer says that the market for telecommunication services is subject to fierce price competition. At the same time there is technological change going on in fields such as landline telephony, mobile phone telephony and internet. These new technologies, however, required much less workforce than traditional kinds of communication. As a consequence there are sectors where there is a shortage of experts while in others people have to be made redundant. All in all, however, the development in the high-tech industry has been a positive one for the fifth year in a row, according to Mr. Scheer. GERMAN