As Euro zone unemployment hits a new high, the German state of Bavaria saw an increase of more than 200,000 new jobs in 2012, according to the Federal Employment Agency of Germany. 2,050 of the job additions were created by the state’s business promotion agency, Invest in Bavaria—a 28% increase from the previous year.
The report released by Invest in Bavaria also showed 83 investment projects with a majority of foreign investment from the United States, China, Japan and Russia. In the past two years alone, Bavaria has courted the likes of Apple, LinkedIn, Honeywell and Microsoft.
Despite the current Euro zone crisis, Bavaria has consistently ranked as the German state with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.4%, the state’s lowest in twenty years. Moreover, Bavaria boasts the nation’s highest exports at $214 billion and the highest per capita GDP in Germany and Europe.
“Our state remains strong because historically, Bavaria has favored long term growth strategies over short term success,” says Wolfgang Huebschle, Executive Director, Invest in Bavaria New York. “Bavaria draws upon multiple regions, clusters and investments, building a diverse economy for itself—and that’s not going away any time soon.”
One of the long term strategies Bavaria utilizes is the “dual career” program. Siemens, BMW, Deloitte and Amazon are among the 700 companies that participate in Bavaria. This apprenticeship model allows companies to work directly with young students, training them for specific skill sets such as engineering and manufacturing.
As the German state with the lowest public sector debt, Bavaria is known for their balanced budgets and reputation for being “allergic to debt.” This fiscally responsible state of mind stems from the German tradition of “Mittelstand,” small to mid-size companies which favor no loan and low layoff operations.
“We’re already home to more than 850 U.S. companies and nearly 20% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies including Google, Intel, Pfizer and GE,” adds Huebschle. “Companies will always look to capitalize off the European market and as Germany’s richest state, foreign investors find Bavaria’s economic stability an important factor in expansion decisions.”