The German part belongs to the economically strongest regions of Saxony and East Germany with a relatively low unemployment rate. The state capital Dresden is home to modern industries, especially in semiconductor technology, and a large number of research and development institutions and universities. The district of Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains is characterized by relatively small but successful companies in precision engineering and metal processing.
On the Czech side, however, lignite coal mining, energy production from lignite coal and the chemical industry dominate. This not only causes deep wounds in the landscape and a high level of environmental pollution (although the situation has improved significantly compared to the time before 1990). The reduced demand for labour in these heavy industries also causes a relatively high unemployment rate in comparison with the Czech Republic and an accumulation of social problems (which also have historical causes).