Conversely, you don't go where you know if you have a negative perception of a place. You've seen all the Detroit ruin porn. There is no way you are moving there for a job, even if there are thousands of positions available in your field. Detroit's black mark extends to Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan. Despite being a lovely college town with a fantastic quality of life, Ann Arbor struggles to attract talent. I call this the "Ann Arbor Dilemma". Ann Arbor is cursed with the geographic stereotype (i.e. ruin porn) of Detroit.
Germany is cursed with its own Ann Arbor Dilemma. The OECD claims that the country desperately needs immigrants for economic growth. The relatively liberal immigration laws aren't helping:
The problem is perception, particularly on the part of employers reluctant to hire from abroad, as well as the notoriously difficult German language. Barriers include dwindling numbers of German speakers in the European Union – and fewer institutions offering German language training compared to English, Spanish, or French. ...
... But it’s not just highly-trained personnel the country needs. Drivers, laborers and hotel staff are also in demand. So why aren’t they coming in droves from euro-zone countries with high unemployment?
The short answer is they perceive the barriers – linguistic, regulatory, or cultural, as too high. And small to medium-sized enterprises lack awareness about how to hire them.
Instead of heading to Germany, young adults are heading from high-employment Spain to low-unemployment Mexico. This migration pattern is unexpected because the legal barriers are much lower within the European Union. Perceived barriers are more formidable than actual fences. Just ask Ann Arbor.
Germany has already lost the war for talent. Mesofacts are notoriously difficult to change. Mexico or Brazil are where it's at for the young and unemployed in Europe, particularly Spain. Where a few pioneers have ventured, thousands will follow.