German Companies See Job Market as Biggest Problem, Amid General Bullishness on Baltics ({{commentsTotal}})

A survey conducted among German companies operating in the Baltics showed that the job market is considered to be a sore spot in all three countries.

"[It's] the number one problem," said the German Baltic Chamber of Commerce in the summary of the survey they conducted.

The top drawback was what they identified as Estonia's limited availability of specialists and workforce expense was in second.

The vocational education system was considered a serious problem in Estonia and Latvia. Flexibility of labor law got low marks in Lithuania.

"[German companies] demand extensive vocational education system reforms, and it is urgently essential to involve the responsible political bodies," said the chamber.

The German companies say the economy is good or satisfactory, as they did in the past three years.

But differences did crop up compared to last year. The perceptions of the strength of the Estonian economy are a shade worse, while opinions regarding Latvia and Lithuania improved.

Around a third of the respondents in Estonia say the situation is good, with only 6 percent expressing dissatisfaction. In Latvia, 22 percent are happy - twice as many as a year ago. In Lithuania, a whopping 60 percent said they were pleased with the economy overall.

German companies are planning to create jobs in all three countries, but are more optimistic regarding the southern Baltics.

Service and commerce are the only sectors in which staff is planned to be enlarged in Estonia, while Germans are bullish on growing the ranks of personnel across the board in the other two Baltics.

The chamber also asked the companies whether they were happy with their past investment decisions.

In Estonia, 94 percent said they had no regrets and would do it all over again if they could. The figures were 81 and 90 percent for Latvia and Lithuania.

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