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Skilled crafts and construction sector

Gitarrenbauer arbeitet in seiner Werkstatt an einen Instrument  Link öffnet eine vergrößerte Darstellung des Bildes.
© Michael Schumann, Handwerkskammer für München und Oberbayern

Modern and traditional

2017 was another very good year for Munich's skilled crafts firms. Many companies are straining at the limits, with capacity utilization averaging 80 %. This rate was higher only right after German reunification at the beginning of the 1990ies.*

Revenue and employment

Munich's skilled crafts sector ended 2017 with revenues up 4.0 % year on year. The revenue volume amounted to EUR 10.8 billion. According to an economic survey commissioned by the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria (HWK), a remarkable 91 % of companies described their situation as “good” or “satisfactory” in the business climate index - the highest rate ever.

The food and catering trade recorded the highest percentage increase in revenue (+5.5 %). A rise significantly above average was recorded also for both the construction sector and for skilled crafts suppliers to the commercial sector.

Although the number of companies in Munich fell by 1.6 %, the number of people employed in skilled crafts edged up by 0.9 %. Approximately 75,300 people currently earn their living at 21,140 skilled craft firms in Munich.

Skilled crafts in Bavaria

In Bavaria, the finishing trade (including painters, plumbers and fitters, for example) accounts for the largest share of companies, followed by skilled craft suppliers to the private sector (e.g. hairdressers and the artisanal healthcare and body care segments).  Third place is occupied by skilled craft suppliers to the commercial sector such as metalworkers and precision engineering firms.

The Bavarian skilled crafts sector gave work to around 927,000 people on average in 2017, up 0.7% year on year.  All in all 7,000 new jobs in skilled crafts were created in 2017.

Developments in the Bavarian construction industry were especially positive with revenue up 10.2 %. In Munich 2017 was a good year too with a 5.5 % rise in revenue. 

Shortage of skilled labor

The shortage of skilled labor remains a major issue in the skilled crafts sector. This year's survey by the Chamber of Crafts again highlighted the point: Only 39 % of respondent skilled craft firms said that all their vacancies were filled. 33 % would like to take on more people, and 28 % see this situation as a serious obstacle to their development prospects. 48 % of companies are seeing to combat the shortage of skilled labor by running their own training and apprenticeship programs. 35 % provide advanced development and education to existing staff. These measures will not provide any noticeable relief in the short term, however. As a result, extra work and overtime hours are needed to make up for the missing capacity.

The skilled crafts industry continues to offer bright prospects for skilled workers and young people looking to learn a trade.

* Munich's Annual Economic Report 2017

Status: September, 2018