April 23, 2024 1:28 pm
The unemployment rate increased by 11% in March.

In March, Austria experienced a sharp rise in unemployment, with the number of unemployed individuals increasing by double digits for the first time in several months. This was a significant concern for the Employment Service (AMS), which saw an 11% increase in registrations compared to the previous year, resulting in a total of 369,640 people being registered. Of these, 291,468 were directly registered while 78,172 were participating in AMS training programs.

The rise in unemployment was most significant in the construction and industry sectors, with men and younger people being disproportionately affected. The situation was particularly concerning given that Austria typically experiences favorable employment conditions around Easter. The current unemployment rate of 6.2% is still higher than pre-pandemic levels despite the government’s efforts to address it.

Labor Minister Martin Kocher acknowledged the challenging economic environment and expressed concern about the financial difficulties faced by households affected by unemployment. The Chamber of Labor also highlighted the rise in long-term unemployment, particularly affecting those with health issues and older individuals who are struggling to find work due to their age or health status. Despite this, older employees aged 60 and over saw a recent increase in employment opportunities.

The government has been called out by opposition parties for its lack of action regarding rising unemployment figures. The ÖGB managing director raised concerns about the mismatch between rising unemployment and the demand for skilled workers, particularly in sectors like tourism where there is high demand but limited supply of qualified workers available to fill vacancies reported to AMS.

Despite these challenges, there are still opportunities available for those seeking employment opportunities. While the number of available vacancies reported to AMS decreased by 18% year-on-year, there is still high demand for skilled workers across various industries such as electrical installation and cooking.

The hope is that relief and an increase in work permits can help address labor market challenges and provide much-needed support for those facing difficult economic circumstances during these challenging times.

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