Balance sheet for 2021: number of commuters increased by 4.5 percent

Status: 01/19/2022 11:00 a.m

Many travel long distances to get to work. And their number has increased over the past year. The trade union IG BAU sees the high rents as the main reason and calls for permanent price maintenance for social housing.

Nationwide, the number of commuters in Germany increased last year. Around 3.5 million employees did not work in the federal state in which they lived in 2021 – 150,000 more than in the previous year.

The number of long-distance commuters grew by 4.5 percent in the Corona year 2021 compared to the previous year, as reported by the “Rheinische Post”, citing data from the Federal Employment Agency (BA). According to the data, more than one in ten employees subject to social security contributions left their home state to commute to work.

NRW has the most commuters

North Rhine-Westphalia (461,000), Baden-Württemberg (426,000), Bavaria (425,000), Hesse (408,000) and the city states of Hamburg (368,000) and Berlin (366,000).

There was a particularly high proportion of commuters – employees who leave their federal state for work – in Lower Saxony (454,000), Rhineland-Palatinate (338,000), Brandenburg (305,000), Schleswig-Holstein (244,000) and Saxony-Anhalt (141,000) .

Insufficient affordable housing

According to IG Bauen Agrar Umwelt (IG BAU), expensive rents and high house prices are the main reasons for a further increase in the number of commuters in Germany. Union boss Robert Feiger explained that millions of employees were forced to drive for hours.

“Not everyone can do home office – many people have to put up with long commutes to get to work,” said Feiger. Distances of more than 100 kilometers are “anything but a rarity” for construction workers.

Fixed prices for social housing demanded

A decisive contribution against the environmentally harmful commuter traffic is the creation of affordable housing in the places where people want to work and live, said Feiger. He welcomed the federal government’s plan to build 400,000 new apartments per year – including 100,000 subsidized social housing.

For these permanent price controls are necessary. “It must apply: once social housing, always social housing. We don’t need cheap rents with an expiry date,” says Feiger.

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