Although the majority of those who were unemployed in December 2015 were in seasonal occupations in construction (building labourers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, painters and decorators) and in tourism (waiters/waitresses, restaurant chefs, kitchen staff, counter and bar attendants and room staff), other groups were also affected, such as auxiliary staff, workers in the cleaning occupations, wholesale and retail, storekeeping and warehousing activities, merchandise graders and hand packers, transport service providers and drivers, industrial and commercial clerks, workers in office and ancillary administrative occupations as well as active business owners or directors. Unemployment also affected graduate and non-graduate health care workers and nurses, welfare/social workers and nursery school teachers. Unemployment is highest among people with no more than compulsory schooling, followed by those who have completed an apprenticeship. People with university degrees and medium-level qualifications are least affected by unemployment. Unemployment is highest in Vienna, Lower Austria, Styria and Upper Austria.
Available workers with university degrees include industrial and commercial clerks, workers in office and ancillary administrative occupations as well as active business owners or directors, sales representatives, advertising specialists, consumer advisors, hoteliers, hotel/catering managers, waiters/waitresses, auxiliary workers, merchandise graders and hand packers, storekeepers and warehouse workers, graduate engineers in finance, architects, data processors, lawyers, banking and savings bank specialists, doctors, other medical personnel, social scientists and economists, other academic staff, nursery school teachers and teachers (gym instructors)
People who are registered as unemployed often have rather low qualification levels, moderate to severe employability handicaps, such as a lack of ‘soft skills’, social problems, physical disabilities or psychological disorders, etc., or a lack of specialised knowledge. Women, for example, are particularly prone to unemployment in areas such as the wholesale and retail trade, in cases where a lack of qualifications is compounded by childcare obligations which limit their mobility and flexibility. In the low season, for example when the winter season has ended and the summer season has not yet begun, there are high unemployment levels in the tourism industry among waiters/waitresses, room staff, chefs and kitchen staff, etc.
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Most vacancies are for skilled workers who have completed an apprenticeship or, in the construction industry, general ancillary activities, tourism, etc., for ancillary workers. In the case of electricians, machinists (including those with higher qualification levels), building fitters/sheet metal workers, fitters as well as lathe operators, bricklayers, carpenters, painters and decorators, floor and wall tilers, varnishers and joiners and cabinetmakers, pipe fitters and welders, car mechanics and mechanics, most of the demand is for skilled workers who have completed an apprenticeship and have work experience, particularly in Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria, Vienna and Carinthia.
There is demand for specialists in tourism and the hotel and catering trade, mainly for those who have completed an apprenticeship (chefs and waiters/waitresses) and auxiliary staff (kitchen staff, waiters/waitresses, room staff, counter and bar staff, dishwashers, etc.) but also for those in sports professions (e.g. ski instructors) who have completed compulsory schooling, particularly in Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria and Lower Austria, and in the tourism areas of other provinces. For all vacancies in this area of activity, relevant work experience and flexibility are either essential or desirable.
Grocery sales assistants, other sales assistants, sales representatives and advertising specialists (with higher-level qualifications) are needed, particularly in Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria and Vienna. In the wholesale and retail trade the number of part-time staff is continuing to rise.
Merchandise graders and hand packers, storekeepers and warehouse workers, transport service providers, drivers, doormen/women and security guards, checkout operators and box-office clerks (mainly auxiliary staff but also people who have completed an apprenticeship) are in demand in Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria, Vienna and Tyrol. Labourers who have completed compulsory schooling, or indeed an apprenticeship, will find most vacancies in Upper Austria and Styria. Cleaners are in particular demand in Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Styria.
In Vienna, Upper Austria and Lower Austria there are jobs for hairdressers and beauticians who are flexible and willing to learn. Graduate and non-graduate care personnel are in demand in all provinces. Vacancies for doctors also exist in all provinces.
In technical occupations there is demand for mechanical engineers, technicians specialising in data processing and construction, high-voltage and low-voltage electricity and communications, and graduate engineers specialising in mechanical engineering, communications, finance and data processing (with a higher-level secondary qualification or a university/tertiary college degree), particularly in Upper Austria. The largest number of opportunities for prospective business owners or directors, especially those with a higher-level secondary qualification or university degree, and for industrial and commercial clerks – with attainment levels ranging from an apprenticeship to a higher-level qualification – is to be found in Vienna, Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria, and the same applies in respect of office and administrative staff.
There are also vacancies for nursery school teachers and welfare/social workers (mainly those with a university/tertiary college degree), especially in Upper Austria and Vienna. In academic professions, lawyers are also in demand.
Text last edited on: 04/2016
In the fourth quarter of 2015, Austria’s population amounted to 8 662 588; in December 2015, a total of 3 512 000 were employees, of whom 584 967 were foreign nationals. The number of persons registered as unemployed is 417 514, which represents a year-on-year increase of 23 840. The unemployment rate in December 2015 was 10.6 per cent (according to the national calculation method). On the basis of the international definition, the unemployment rate was 5.6 % in December 2015.
The unemployment rate for young people up to the age of 25 is 10.7 %. A year-on-year increase (0.1 %) was, however, registered only in the provinces [Bundesländer] of Burgenland, Carinthia, Salzburg and Vienna.
Unemployment among older persons in Austria, that is to say those aged 50 and over, is 11 %.
Because of its focus on the service industries, Austria is likely to see an increase of some 38 400 in the average number of persons in paid employment in 2016, which would bring the total figure to about 3 485 200. Unemployment will show a year-on-year increase of 11.4 percentage points in 2016. The supply of labour will increase over the course of the year by 78 700, to 3 880 400 persons.
12 % of Austrians in employment commute into another province but only 0.6 % commute abroad for work.
The sectors employing most people are manufacturing, the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and consumer goods, banks, real estate and business services, construction and health care and social work.
The largest employers with the highest net revenues and the greatest profits include Rewe International AG (retail), the Spar Österreich group (retail), Strabag Societas Europa (construction), OMV AG (energy supply), Voest Alpine AG (metal industry), Austrian Railways (passenger and freight transport), Magna International Europe AG (motor vehicles/vehicle components and motors) and Uni Credit Bank Austria and Raiffeisen (banks).
In 2016 economic growth in Austria, at +1.2 percent, is once again lower than expected. Lack of domestic demand (decline in consumption and investment) together with reduced export opportunities – particularly to Germany – are leading to low growth.
Service industries will continue to determine employment growth in Austria in 2016. The most significant increase in employment has been seen in health care and social work, and increases are also to be expected in administration, tourism and the information and communications sector.
The job growth is to some extent also accounted for by the increased use of part-time workers. It is for this reason that women have found work in the area of administration.
Sectors where jobs will be lost in 2016 include ‘finance and insurance’, ‘manufacturing’ — in particular 'automotive suppliers and the manufacture of other transport equipment' — and 'real-estate services'.
Those over the age of 50 will also be significantly affected by unemployment in 2016. Those whose educational attainment level is no higher than compulsory schooling will also suffer disproportionately in 2016 as a result of unemployment. In low-skilled occupational groups — for example in auxiliary jobs in the manufacturing industry or other services — the increase in the number of unemployed also continues to rise. The risk of becoming unemployed will also increase for graduates of universities and tertiary colleges in 2015.
Qualification levels are rising in all industries. For graduates of universities and tertiary colleges with degrees in technical or medical disciplines or in social and economic disciplines the employment situation shows a positive trend.
In occupations requiring medium-level qualifications, that is to say successful completion of an apprenticeship or of a secondary technical or vocational course, the situation is as follows: for clerks and other office staff, only moderate job growth is expected; in the industrial production sector, employment gains are likely among mould makers and welders, electricians and electronics technicians, mechanics and machine fitters.
Job losses in manufacturing are mainly affecting low-skilled activities, whereas slight employment gains are being registered in higher-skilled occupations.
The key ‘soft skills’ in almost all areas of activity include social and interpersonal skills such as communication, customer service, flexibility, stress resistance, willingness to learn, intercultural skills (for working in international teams) as well as an excellent command of English and other languages.
In the field of health care, the ability to deal with medical information systems and knowledge of quality management, project management, health promotion and preventive care are important. Besides a grounding in psychology, the ability to manage frustration and good communication skills are required.
In electronics and electrical engineering, telecommunications, information technology, mechanical and automotive engineering and metalworking, specialised knowledge of operating systems, control of computer systems, business management, energy and process technology, quality management, etc. are among the key requirements.
In the construction and timber trades, specialised knowledge of building renovation and of waste management and disposal as well as specific data processing skills are advantageous. In administration, business, finance and law, additional technical knowledge is beneficial, as is knowledge of business management, of systems, applications and products in data processing (SAP), and of e-business.
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Top 10 of the most required occupations in Austria
1. Waiters (ISCO 5131)
2. Shop sales assistants (ISCO 5223)
3. Cooks (ISCO 5120)
4. Cleaners and helpers in offices, hotels and other establishments (ISCO 9112)
5. Kitchen helpers (ISCO 9412)
6. Mechanical engineering technicians (ISCO 3115)
7. Building and related electricians (ISCO 7411)
8. Plumbers and pipe fitters (ISCO 7126)
9. Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and repairers (ISCO 7233)
10. Heavy truck and lorry drivers (ISCO 8332)