Labor Market Integration of Refugees in Germany: New Lessons After the Ukrainian Crisis

Forced displacement has become more frequent in the last decades, with refugees often spending many years abroad. While international responses often focus on immediate needs, investment in refugees’ longer-term integration is increasingly important to support their transition to self-sufficiency. This paper documents the key features of German integration system and its adaptations following the Ukrainian crisis. The emerging evidence suggests that while refugees’ labor market integration in Germany is at first slower than in other EU countries, early investment in refugees’ human capital, especially in language skills, allows access to better jobs in the medium-term. Years of investment in a strong integration eco-system was key to quickly start a process that turns short-term integration costs into long-term economic opportunities.