BERLIN Oct 12 A new report showing declining
labour productivity has raised concern in a leading trade group
about the future competitiveness of the German automotive and
mechanical engineering sector, the German newspaper Die Welt
"The development of productivity since 2010 is cause for
extreme concern," it quoted Rainer Dulger, president of the
German Federation of German Employers' Associations in the Metal
and Electrical Engineering Industries, as saying. "Our location
(as a manufacturing site) is crumbling."
The newspaper said a new study completed by IW Consult for
the trade group showed a drop of 1.7 percent in labour
productivity in Germany's largest industrial sector between 2011
and 2015, which amounts to an annual decline of about 0.4
percent, the paper said.
It said the study showed that productivity dropped due to a
4.6 percent rise in hiring in the sector, with some companies
hoarding specialised workers to avoid losing them, even if they
lacked sufficient orders. Hiring new specialist workers was
simply too costly, it quoted companies as saying.
The study also suggested that many companies were hiring
more workers in Germany to oversee finishing work that had been
sent overseas to an increasingly complex web of foreign
subsidiaries and suppliers.
"Statistically that is resulting in a high, relatively
unproductive use of labour domestically," the report found.
It was also possible that productivity was down because
companies were hiring less well-qualified workers due to a
shortage of specialist labour, the report said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Ralph Boulton)