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The unemployment rate increased by 11% in March.

In March, Austria experienced a significant increase in unemployment for the first time in months. The number of unemployed rose by double digits, with almost 36,000 more people registered with the Employment Service (AMS) compared to the previous year. This increase was particularly felt in the construction and industry sectors, with men and younger people being disproportionately affected.

The rise in unemployment has caused concern among Austrian officials and labor organizations alike. AMS boss Johannes Kopf expressed his worry about the situation, noting that it was particularly bad given the favorable employment conditions usually seen around Easter. Labour Minister Martin Kocher acknowledged the challenging economic environment, with an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in March 2019 before the pandemic hit. Despite this, older employees aged 60 and over have recently seen an increase in employment.

The Chamber of Labor highlighted the rise in long-term unemployment, particularly affecting those with health issues and older individuals. They expressed concerns about the financial difficulties faced by households affected by unemployment. Despite this, there is still high demand for skilled workers in sectors like tourism and electrical installation, as indicated by the skilled labor barometer.

Criticism has been directed at the government for their perceived lack of action in addressing rising unemployment figures. The ÖGB managing director also raised concerns about the mismatch between rising unemployment and demand for skilled workers, particularly in sectors like tourism. However, there is hope that relief may come through an increase in work permits to address labor market challenges.

In conclusion, Austria’s economy is facing a significant challenge due to rising unemployment figures. While there are opportunities available for skilled workers, it remains unclear how quickly or effectively this will translate into job creation for those most affected by job losses.

In March 2019 before

By Samantha Jones

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