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We are currently witnessing surprising new developments in Europe: Countries like Ireland that had a low unemployment rate before the international economic crisis now have a high rate, and countries like Germany that had a high unemployment rate before the international economic crisis now have a lower rate than before. This article explains the reasons for this contrary development, thus why developments in Germany and Ireland moved in opposite directions. This means that dimensions must be found in terms of which the labor markets in Germany and Ireland fundamentally differ. These are essentially economic factors—in particular the development of cash flow—labor market policy measures and demography.