Berlin's demographic growth is matched by an increase in the number of jobs created in Germany's capital. For the first time since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the city's unemployment rate has dropped below ten percent according to the Berlin-Brandenburg branch of the Federal Labour Agency. In May 2016, the unemployment rate stood at 9.7 percent. This translates into 181,166 persons without a job in May, down 5,260 month over month, and a drop by 15,187 year on year, according to the employment agency. Inversely, the number of open positions in May was 23,974 or a year-on-year increase by 3,953 jobs. Berlin's economy is generally heading in the right direction, with 56,800 social security-covered jobs created between March 2015 and March 2016 alone. At 4.4 percent, Berlin's job growth actually exceeds that of any other German state and is twice the national average.
Robust Economic Situation and Berlin's Booming Economy
Michael Müller, Lord Mayor of Berlin, attributes the historically low jobless figure not least to the robust economic situation in Germany as a whole, but without downplaying the favourable climate for investments that currently prevails in the city. Its attractiveness for start-ups and the appreciation of the city's body politic for the creative industries are also responsible for the positive trend, according to Müller.
Berlin's Senator for Employment, Dilek Kolat, observed that the economic boom is not limited to new business and residents. More than 11,000 long-term jobless were recently returned to gainful employment. This has caused Berlin's long-term jobless share to drop to 32.5 percent of the unemployment total, well below the nationwide average of 37.8 percent. Berlin's Senator for Economics, Cornelia Yzer, believes that the city's economy still harbours ample potential for growth from which the labour market stands to benefit. The keen demand for labour and the robust upward trend in business makes it reasonable to anticipate sustained job growth.
Berlin a more Fertile Ground for Innovation than Other German States
Müller's and Yzer's assessments are borne out not least by the most recent innovation survey for Berlin. It suggests that innovations accounted for 12.2 billion euros in revenues generated by Berlin-based businesses in 2014, or 16.3 percent of their revenue total. It is the first time that the ratio substantially exceeds the national average of 15.5 percent. In fact, Berlin's innovative strength has increased to the point where it takes the lead of the German economy as a whole. While the average share of revenues from new products is in decline nationwide, Berlin-based companies actually raised their innovation-driven revenues by another 2.5 percent. Accordingly, Berlin is well positioned to accommodate its positive demographic trend, and shows greater development potential than many other German states.