Month / September 2021

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  • older woman sitting at a table with a laptop

    Working in Retirement

    Some people can hardly wait to retire while others would never consider it. In fact, more and more people are continuing to work after retirement: While 3.3 percent of those over the age of 64 were still working in 2005, 7.8 percent were still working in 2019.

    But are people working in retirement due to financial need, as is commonly believed? Holger Schäfer, an economist at the German Economic Institute in Cologne, has come to a different conclusion based on an analysis of data from Living in Germany. If retirees were working because they needed the money, their pensions would have to have extremely low— but as Schäfer’s analysis shows, this is not the case.

    The results of other studies also suggest that financial motives play a subordinate role. “Previous studies have shown that people enjoy working and being in contact with others, and that this is more important to them than the extra money,” says Holger Schäfer.

    Further information

    Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW): Einkommen: Arbeitende Rentner haben überdurchschnittlich viel Geld

    Süddeutsche Zeitung: Warum Rentner arbeiten gehen

    All results in the overview

    Photo Anna Shvets on Pexels

  • drei junge Erwachsene in einem Kurs

    Employed refugees with vocational qualifications participate more frequently in in-service language courses

    Good German language skills are a key factor for the successful and sustainable labor market integration of refugees. The participation of refugees in integration and language courses has increased sharply in recent years.. In the third quarter of 2019, more than 80 percent of refugees who arrived in Germany between 2013 and 2016 had already taken part in such courses. his is shown by evaluations using data from the “Living in Germany” study, in which researchers from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) investigated which individuals also participate in a language course at the same time as they are employed.

    Language courses to date have mostly been geared toward acquiring German skills before taking up gainful employment. Only very few refugees are gainfully employed while attending a language course. Their share of all participants was 12 percent on average. The results also make clear that refugees with vocational training and refugees working in personal service occupations take language courses disproportionately often. This indicates a comparatively high need for German language skills in the related occupations.

    The researchers emphasize the importance of linking language acquisition, education and professional practice at an early stage in the form of in-service language courses. In particular, refugee women, who often have family care work to perform, could benefit from time-flexible course offerings that can be completed during working hours, but also from better childcare during language courses.

    Further information

    IAB: Erwerbstätige Geflüchtete mit Berufsabschluss nehmen häufiger an berufsbegleitenden Sprachkursen teil

    All results in the overview

  • two women put food in bags

    Making a Difference Through Volunteer Work

    Many organizations and initiatives depend on volunteers –wpml_nbsp from sports clubs to volunteer fire departments to refugee aid projects. According to the results of a new study based on data from Living in Germany, currently around one in three people in Germany is involved in volunteer work, and the percentage is rising. People in rural areas are especially active in volunteer activities.

    Volunteerism is higher in more prosperous regions, where the level of education is high and unemployment is low. “In structurally weak rural regions, on the other hand, efforts need to be made to catch up,” says SOEP researcher Luise Burkhardt, who conducted the study together with a colleague at the Thünen Institute. It is not only migration and an ageing population, but also a lack of digital infrastructure that contribute to the fact that fewer people are able to get involved.

    It is striking that volunteerism is more common among men than women. he researchers suspect that the reason could be a persistence of traditional gender roles in rural areas, where women are often still more involved in childcare and housework.

    Further information

    DIW Berlin: Ehrenamtliche in sehr ländlichen Gegenden besonders engagiert – Männer aktiver als Frauen

    All results in the overview

    Ismael Paramo on Unsplash