The figures of the VDMA are informative: Nominal mechanical and plant engineering sales rose from 214.6 billion in 2016 to the new record of 226.2 billion in 2017, according to the spring issue of "Mechanical Engineering in Numbers and Images 2018." Growth continued in the first four months of 2018, with exports still growing by a nominal 4.4% over the previous year.
The increase in production was accompanied by an increase in the number of employees. The industry had around 32,000 employees more in April 2018 as compared to the year before. VDMA Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph Wiechers, noted that this job creation was remarkable "because it succeeded, despite all the difficulties in finding enough qualified personnel on the labor market." After all, in April 2018, about 34% of companies recorded production obstacles due to the shortage of skilled workers. According to the PwC-Maschinenbau-Barometer , it is an acute problem for 83%. Overall, mechanical engineering is Germany’s largest industrial employer with more than 1.3 million employees, whereby in excess of one million employees work in companies with over 50 employees (as of April 2018).