Most German Employers Happy With Refugees' Work: Survey

Germany refugees
Migrants pulling suitcases arrive at the Central Registration Office for Asylum Seekers of the State Office for Health and Social Services in Berlin. Sean Gallup/Getty

A large majority of German companies who have taken on refugees are satisfied with their work, although most hires have been for low-skilled positions, according to a survey conducted last month and published Tuesday.

The first of the estimated 1.2 million people who arrived in Germany in 2015 and 2016 from countries including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are starting to enter the labor market. About 14 percent have found a job.

More than three-quarters of the employers who took part in the survey said they had only few or no difficulties in daily work with the refugees they had hired.

Read more: Germany reports almost 10 anti-refugee attacks a day

Those who did have difficulties most frequently cited a lack of German language skills, vocational skills, different work habits and uncertainty relating to the length of the employee's stay in Germany.

The influx of migrants has eroded the popularity of Chancellor Angela Merkel and fueled the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, although support for refugees remains strong in many parts of society.

The survey of 2,200 German employers was carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the German ministry of labor and social affairs.

Numbers of native Germans entering the German workforce are beginning to slow as the population ages.

Coupled with an unemployment rate of just 5.9 percent, the lowest since German reunification in 1990 and one of the lowest in the OECD, that makes for one of the world's most favorable job markets for new arrivals, the OECD said.