In 2014 roughly 10.9m immigrants lived in Germany. in a total population of 80.2m. This group includes all migrants who settled down in Germany in 1950 or later. Compared with 2011, their number increased by approximately 1m (+11%) -- in a decade, Destatis, the German federal statistics office, also reports that the number of children starting school in Germany fell by 14%. Meanwhile this month Angela Merkel, German chancellor, said she expects Germany to receive a record 800,000 asylum seekers this year, more than the entire EU combined in 2014, highlighting the scale of the biggest refugee crisis to face Europe since the second world war.

Last weekend there were riots in front of a refugee camp in Saxony Heidenau. Demonstrators are said to have threatened and attacked policemen and asylum seekers. Around 575 people are housed at the property.

The human and dignified treatment of every individual is crucial Chancellor Angela Merkel said after her visit on Tuesday to the refugee accommodation in Heidenau (see picture above) . The chancellor met refugees, security forces,  volunteers and other staff. On her arrival, protesters booed the German leader.

German immigrants 2011 - 2014 Destatis says that the number of immigrants from the European Union rose markedly (+620,000 or +18%) between 2011 and 2014. Above all, significant increases were recorded in the number of migrants from Poland (+179,000 or +17%) and Romania (+109,000 or +29%), while the relevant percentage shares were largest for EU migrants from Bulgaria (+53,000 or +79%) and Hungary (+53,000 or 52%).

The main reason for migration indicated by people who immigrated in 1960 or later was family reunification (37%), followed by employment (18%). After the beginning of the financial crisis, however, marked changes were observed in the reasons for immigration. Employment was indicated as the major reason by people who immigrated in 2008 or later (28%). More than half of them (57%) had a job in Germany before their immigration.

The German unemployment rate according to the International Labour Organisation standard was 4.7% in June 2015.

The statistics office says hundreds of thousands of first graders will have had their first day at school by mid-September. According to provisional results, approximately 708,000 children started school in Germany in school year 2014/2015. This was an increase of nearly 3% on the preceding year (690,000 school beginners).

On account of the ageing of the population the number of children starting school has fallen significantly in the past few years. In school year 2004/2005 there had still been 821,000 school beginners. In comparison, their numbers were down by 14% in 2014/2015.

 

The decline was particularly marked in the former territory of the Federal Republic where about 697,000 children started school in 2004/2005, compared with just under 574,000 (-18%) in 2014/2015. In the new Länder of the former communist East (states/provinces) and Berlin the number of school beginners rose from 124,000 to 134,000 over the same period (+8%). This is due to the fact that their numbers had already been on a low level at the start of the new century as a consequence of the decline in the birth rate after German reunification.

German employers 'should hire more refugees'

The German federal employment agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit - BA) has urged employers to hire refugees because of their language skills.

Deutsche Welle, the German external broadcaster, reports that Raimund Becker, board member at the BA, estimates that many of those fleeing war, displacement and political persecution stay for a long time or even permanently in Germany, and should be quickly integrated into the labour market.

Ingo Kramer, president of the German Employers' Association, said that regulations must be simplified in order to enable refugees find training and jobs.

Funding tools for vocational training for asylum seekers with a high chance of being granted permission to stay in Germany should be used, as well as increasing the opportunities for language training, he urges.

The BA says that more than half a million training contracts were signed in Germany last year, but 37,000 traineeships are still open because there weren't enough applicants.

German companies are finding it increasingly difficult to hire enough newcomers, even though there are more than 5m unemployed young people in the EU.