Bonn Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan describes Bonn’s economic development in the last year as dynamic, highly productive and an economic driving force in North Rhine-Westphalia.
As of June 30, 2017, the number of jobs subject to social security contributions increased by around 3,700 to a total of 173,531 - the increase of 2.2 percent was just below the NRW average of 2.3 percent. Growth has come mainly in the health and social sectors and the information and communication industry.
419 new jobs were created in public administration, especially in federal agencies. But Bonn declined in its role as the second seat of the German Federal Government, with only 33.1 percent of ministerial jobs remaining here, the rest of them in Berlin. The manufacturing industry is developing steadily and accounts for around eight percent of all employees.
The upswing in the services and administration sector has been going on for a while: over the past three years, Bonn has gained around 10,000 jobs. The city is particularly strong in the academic sector. Those employed in the academic field make up 28.5 percent of all employees, putting Bonn in rank seven nationwide.
But the end of 2019 may bring with it a setback in job numbers. For one, Zurich Insurance has announced that they plan to move their headquarters from Bonn to Cologne, which would mean a loss of around 1,500 jobs for Bonn. With that in mind, Sridharan expressed appreciation to the Postbank, with its 3,500 Bonn employees, for planning to lease the new building on “Neuer Kanzlerplatz” (in the area where the Bonn Center once stood). He thanked the Postbank for choosing to remain loyal to Bonn.
Victoria Applebe, the director of the Office for Economic Development in Bonn, sees a positive result in how Bonn has developed from an economic standpoint. Last year, her bureau supported 846 corporate initiatives, from both existing companies and start-ups. Major projects include the expansion of the SGL Group in Bad Godesberg, where 25 million euros will be invested over the next four years. Appelbe expects the SGL Group - The Carbon Company to bring around 150 new jobs.
Problematic is the small availability of commercial space. To help fill the gap, Appelbe relies on cooperation with the Rhine-Sieg district. As well, a business and industrial park in Pützchen should help; it will start advertising in 2019.
Original text: Andreas Baumann