In the first quarter of 2023, the economy in Baden-Württemberg is expected to contract by 0.2 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2022, adjusted for seasonal and working-day effects. Already in the previous quarter, according to preliminary calculations, economic output already declined by 0.3 percent in the previous quarter. According to the commonly used definition, Baden-Württemberg is then in a recession phase.
Baden-Württemberg labor market: demand for skilled workers remains high.
The shortage of skilled workers is an increasing problem for companies in Baden-Württemberg. The long-term trend clearly points in this direction. Against this backdrop, a recent IAW study commissioned by the Baden-Württemberg Regional Directorate of the German Federal Employment Agency addresses the question of the extent to which company strategies can counteract the shortage of skilled workers. The results show, on the one hand, that companies in sectors with a shortage of skilled workers systematically apply certain strategies more frequently than other companies: For example, further training is more likely to be offered by companies that are more affected by the shortage of skilled workers. On the other hand, reorganizations are geared to the availability of skilled workers. For example, they do not increase in-house production if no skilled workers are available. And companies with a higher proportion of vacancies invest more frequently in digitization.
According to the latest nowcast from the IAW and the University of Hohenheim, Baden-Württemberg's gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the previous quarter, after adjusting for prices and seasonal factors. Slight economic growth of 0.3 percent is again forecast for the first quarter of 2023. The predicted economic situation thus deteriorates compared with the previous nowcast of September 2022.
In-company training participation in Baden-Württemberg increased slightly in 2021, but more training positions remained unfilled.
Both the net and gross training company rates increased again in the country from 49% to 52% and from 27% to 29% respectively, while the proportion of companies that did not provide in-house vocational training despite having a training authorization fell slightly from around 27% to around 26%. In Germany and western Germany, however, the net training company rates were four percentage points higher and the unutilized in-company training potential was also around two percentage points lower in each case.
In the 2020/2021 training year, around 28% of the in-company training places on offer in Baden-Württemberg remained unfilled, compared with around 23% in the 2019/2020 training year. At 72%, the filling rate in the state was at roughly the same level as in western Germany (73%).
Rising energy prices and high inflation rates are currently worsening the longer-term economic outlook. According to the latest nowcast from the IAW and the University of Hohenheim, Baden-Württemberg's gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2022 remained at roughly the same level as in the second quarter. Slightly positive growth is forecast for the subsequent quarters. For the time being, Baden-Württemberg is not predicted to enter a recession - a decline in GDP over two quarters. However, this outcome is on a knife-edge in view of great uncertainty about geopolitical and global economic developments.