Our figure of the month 09/2022: Continuous growth in employment in socially necessary service occupations is not enough


Socially necessary services (SRS) include sectors or branches of the economy that are indispensable for the functioning of our society. The need as well as the provision of these services should be covered at all times - especially in crises. The comparison of the growth rates of employees subject to social security contributions in GenDis sectors with the economy as a whole shows that the former remained largely stable throughout the Corona crisis and even increased in some cases - unlike in the economy as a whole, where they declined from June 2020 to March 2021.

The positive growth rates suggest that socially necessary services are being secured. However, this should be viewed with caution, as the needs in GenDis occupations are increasing. For example, in the health sector, the Corona crisis demanded many new employees in testing and vaccination centres or in administration, e.g. contact tracing. After the pandemic, these created jobs will be reduced again, which is already indicated by the declining growth rates from June 2021.

It is also clear that the growth rate of employees subject to social insurance contributions in non-medical health professions is declining. This occupational group of non-medical health professions also includes geriatric care. A declining growth rate of employees subject to social insurance contributions in this field combined with an ageing society could increasingly exacerbate the already existing shortage of geriatric nurses in the future. Bottlenecks are also to be expected in other GenDis sectors. Socially necessary services must become more attractive in order to continue to meet demand. However, the corona pandemic has worsened working conditions in many socially necessary services. Examples of this are the rising number of patients in the areas of health and care as well as the increased risk of infection. Here, approaches such as higher wages, better reconciliation of family and work, and simpler and faster recognition of foreign qualifications could counteract impending bottlenecks. This is the subject of the project "Ensuring socially necessary services: Is working for the common good attractive?" Further information can be found here.

Other figures can be found here.

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