Germany ranks as the 5th most popular country for international workers

Germany ranks as the 5th most popular country for international workers

A new survey has found that Germany is the fifth most popular job-seeking destination worldwide and the number one, non-English-speaking destination for internationals looking for work.

Germany ranks top non-English-speaking country for foreign workers

A new survey by Boston Consulting Group, the job website Stepstone and The Network, which anonymously surveyed 150.735 workers in 188 countries, has found that Germany is the fifth most popular destination for foreign workers.

Ranking after Australia, the US, Canada and the UK, the findings also named Germany the most popular non-English-speaking country for international jobseekers, according to the survey and the 14.000 employees in Germany who were asked about their working life.

In a comparison of major international cities, Berlin came in sixth place for its ability to draw in jobseekers but was surpassed by London in first, Amsterdam in second and Dubai in third place.

In the grips of a record-high worker shortage, recent years have seen the German government pass new legislation which makes it easier for non-EU nationals to come to the federal republic and look for work. The hope is that the Chancenkarte, among other policies, will entice more job seekers to emigrate to Germany and help rebalance the demographics of an ageing population.

People working in Germany want to stay there

While many jobseekers are looking beyond the borders of their home country during their search, the survey found that those already living and working in Germany are keen to stay.

Less than half of survey respondents in Germany said they want to work abroad, compared to the 63 percent worldwide who would be prepared to go overseas for a job. In the federal republic, just 7 percent of job seekers said they were actively looking for work abroad, but they don’t plan to stray far, with Switzerland and Austria being the top destinations.

The quality of jobs was a draw for 74 percent of respondents working in Germany. The German healthcare system was among other motivations to come and work in the country.

Workers in Germany benefit from relatively secure conditions largely thanks to an active labour movement throughout history and today. While there are several types of employment contracts in Germany, permanent contracts are the most common. Germany also has one of the shortest average working weeks in Europe and employers may only dismiss permanent employees under strict conditions.

Recent years have also seen a jump in the number of employees in Germany deciding to join their relevant trade union. According to ver.di, one of Germany’s biggest trade unions, 2023 was its most successful year since the organisation was founded in 2001. Last year ver.di signed up 193.000 new members in Germany, a net gain of 40.000 people. Similar increases are to be found at the Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) and hospitality union, the NGG.

The top destinations for international workers 

According to the Boston Consulting Group, Stepstone and The Network, these were the top destinations for international workers in 2023:

  1. Australia
  2. US
  3. Canada
  4. UK
  5. Germany
  6. Japan
  7. Switzerland
  8. Singapore
  9. France 
  10. Spain

To find out more about the survey visit the Stepstone website.

Thumb image credit: r.classen /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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