Close to 50,000 Spaniards find work in Germany

Mostly young, qualified people escape crisis at home

Over 49,400 Spaniards found jobs in Germany last year, an increase of 15.8 percent over 2011, at a time when Spain is destroying over 2,000 jobs a day because of the economic crisis and spending cuts.

They were just some of the Europeans to benefit from the lowest jobless rate Germany has seen in 20 years, according to figures released Thursday by the Federal Employment Agency. Over 253,000 Italians, more than 123,000 Greeks and nearly 57,000 Portuguese also found jobs in the continent's top economy last year.

Unemployment in Spain grew 9.26 percent last year from 2011, to reach over 4.8 million.

The biggest demand in Germany was for qualified professionals to work in the industrial sector, leading to a significant increase in the number of engineers from southern Europe who moved there over the past year. Nevertheless, many emigrants ended up in some of the country’s seven million low-paying jobs known popularly as minijobs, and which partly explain the German economic miracle.

Although official forecasts point to a stalled labor market in 2013, a survey by Manpower among 1,000 businesspeople shows that nine percent are planning to hire more people in the first quarter of the year. Munich, the Bavarian capital, is the city that created the most jobs in all of Germany last year.

The Federal Employment Agency reported a 6.5 percent unemployment rate in November, for an average 2.89 million jobless people, around 79,000 fewer than in 2011.

“According to the information in our power, for 2013 we can count on a stable situation,” said the president of the Federal Employment Agency, Frank-Jürgen Weise, at a presentation of the report.