Luxembourg at a Glance
Working in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.
The country has the second-highest GDP per capita in the world, at an astounding 102,900 USD.
Expatriates can enjoy tax exemptions for the first five years they live in the country.
Working in Luxembourg has long been an attractive option for expats who want to benefit from the low unemployment rate, the low inflation, and the country’s solid growth. The Global Financial Crisis caused a dip in the country’s overall economic performance. However, public debt remains lower than in almost all other European states and Luxembourg is recovering strongly from the crisis. Unemployment, however, is becoming a minor issue, though less so for those with a university education, trade qualification, specialist skills, and/or plenty of work experience.
The Luxembourg Economy: As Robust as Steel
As much as Luxembourg might be the green heart of Western Europe, expats mostly benefit from the strong, high-tech-driven service sector of the country and the recently introduced special tax exemptions for expats working in Luxembourg.
At the beginning of the 20thcentury, the Luxembourg steel industry experienced a significant boost, becoming one of the major driving forces of the country’s income. Today, in contrast, the iron and steel sector make up no more than 7% of the entire economy. Luxembourg is, however, still home to ArcelorMittal, the largest steelmaker in the world. The financial services and technology sectors have developed and taken over the dominant role. With about 150 banks and a high number of national and international employees working in Luxembourg’s financial sector, this branch is growing significantly.
The country’s excellent telecommunications infrastructure, economic stability, and access to other European financial centers make working in Luxembourg an interesting option — especially for high income, professional, international jobs in English, French, and German. Moreover, the country is taking measures to diversify the service sector, offering yet more employment opportunities.
The Second-Richest Country in the World
The European microstate is incredibly wealthy: with a Gross Domestic Product of 56.58 billion USD, and a small population, its GDP per capita is second worldwide only to Qatar. While its diversified economy has long had strong manufacturing and financial sectors, it’s increasingly promoting itself as a technology hub and home to data centers. Skype and Amazon, for example, have their (European) headquarters in Luxembourg. This, however, and its wealth, may also have something to do with Luxembourg’s rather lax and enigmatic tax laws, which make it a tax-haven for Europe’s wealthiest.
Luxembourg is also very open to foreign investors, particularly in medium, light, and high-tech industries. The government offers various incentives in the fields of taxes, plant equipment, and construction to attract investors. Besides the sectors mentioned above, the country’s small, yet productive agricultural sector, employs 1.3% of those working in Luxembourg. Unemployment was on the rise from 2007 until 2014 — when it reached 7.2% — because of the economic crisis. However, the economy is performing better, and the unemployment rate was down to 6.9% in 2015.
The Job Search in Luxembourg: A Lot of Support Available
If you plan on living and working in Luxembourg and feel like you need assistance with the job search, you should register with the Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (Agency for the Development of Employment — ADEM). Its advisers can support and assist you in finding a new job in Luxembourg. As a foreigner, you may only register as a job seeker if you fulfill the following conditions:
- have a legal domicile in Luxembourg
- have a social security number
- fulfill all conditions for “exercising professional activities” in Luxembourg (this includes having a residence permit)
- are ready to work and willing to accept any appropriate job offer
There are seven ADEM branches: Luxembourg, Diekirch, Differdange, Dudelange, Esch-sur-Alzette, Wasserbillig, and Wiltz. You can register at the one located closest to your home.
However, if you do not fulfill the conditions above or want more freedom in your job search, you should look into recruitment agencies instead. The Union Luxembourgeoise des Entreprises de Travail Intérimaire has a list of different employment agencies you may register with. Word-of-mouth is also always a great way to conduct your job search in a small country such as Luxembourg. Make sure to activate your expat network and see if there is a new job opening which hasn’t yet been advertised. Even if your expat friends cannot help you with the job search itself, they should at least be able to provide you with lots of useful information on work conditions, legal requirements, and employment in Luxembourg.
Another option to realize your plan of working in Luxembourg is by doing an internet job search. There are many popular job search engines which may help you find an occupation:
Of course, while the new job search methods are good, the old-fashioned newspaper job search should not be disregarded by expats who plan on working in Luxembourg. Have a look at the local press and check their classifieds sections and their online classifieds. The most important newspapers are:
Moreover, Hobsons Benelux Move-Up Career Guide offers useful information to people who plan on working in Luxembourg. It is available in various languages and definitely a valuable resource for expats living in the BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) countries.
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.