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Where are the available workers?

As an annual average for 2020, the most unemployed people are to be found among unskilled construction workers, bricklayers, electrical engineers, painters, carpenters, pipe fitters, automotive technicians, joiners and cabinet makers and hairdressers as well as in tourism professions (waiters and waitresses, restaurant chefs, kitchen assistants, buffet and bar staff, housekeeping staff, dish washers, concierges and security guards) but also, in particular, in cleaning professions, in the wholesale and retail trade, among unskilled workers, in the depot/warehouse work sector, and among goods sorters and packers, depot and warehouse workers, unskilled workers, carriers and drivers and shop and entrance cashiers.

Unemployment is particular high in sales but also amongst sales representatives.

There are likewise many skilled workers registered as unemployed amongst industrial and commercial professionals, office workers/administrative assistants, bookkeepers, correspondence clerks and secretaries, working proprietors and directors and banking, savings and insurance specialists.

However, non-graduate and graduate healthcare and nurses, carers/social workers, childcare workers and people in exercise and sports professions are also affected by unemployment.

The highest levels of unemployment are among people with a compulsory school leavers’ certificate, followed by those with a vocational qualification.

By comparison, individuals with academic and intermediate qualifications are the least affected by unemployment. Unemployment is highest by far in Vienna, followed by Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Styria.

Available workers with an academic degree can be found in the following categories: working proprietors and directors, industrial and commercial professionals, office workers and administrative assistants, bookkeepers, banking, savings and insurance specialists, correspondence clerks and secretaries, sales staff, sales representatives, advertising specialists, accountants and management consultants, graphic designers, legal advisers and lawyers and specialist administrative staff.

In the healthcare sector, doctors and healthcare professionals, graduate and non-graduate nursing staff and pharmacists are searching for suitable vacancies.

Childcare workers, carers and social workers, social scientists, economists and other academics, lecturers and teachers, philosophers and psychologists, biologists and geophysicists, authors and journalists, interpreters and translators, artistic directors, directors, actors, people in exercise and sports professions but also waiters and waitresses, kitchen assistants, concierges, managers, hoteliers, travel and tourism agents, architects and qualified engineers for data processing, construction, mechanical engineering, technical chemistry and business are particularly available to the Austrian labour market.

Numerous people with an academic degree with experience in the fields of cleaning, conveyance, unskilled work, goods sorting and packing, delivery of goods and depot and warehouse work are also registered as unemployed.

People who are registered as unemployed are often those with comparatively low-level qualifications, those with little professional experience, persons facing sometimes considerable obstacles to employment (lack of soft skills, social problems, physical or psychological limitations, etc.) and those with a lack of specialist skills.

Also affected are people (e.g. in the wholesale and retail trade sector and the tourism sector) who, in addition to lacking qualifications or, for example, because of childcare responsibilities, are limited in their mobility and flexibility.

There is high unemployment as a result of seasonal factors (for example, when the winter season is over and the summer season has not yet started) in the tourism sector.

Text last edited on: 04/2020

Where are the available jobs?

Most jobs are to be filled by skilled workers (with a vocational qualification) and unskilled workers (in the construction sector, general unskilled labour, tourism, etc.).

Unskilled construction workers and operators of goods movement equipment (with a compulsory school leavers' certificate), electrical engineers/electromechanical technicians, machine fitters (including those with higher levels of training), building, sheet metal and construction fitters, metal workers and lathe operators, bricklayers, carpenters, painters, joiners and cabinet makers, pipe fitters, automotive technicians/mechanics, industrial mechanics, mechanical engineers: there is primarily a demand for skilled workers with professional experience (with a vocational qualification), particularly in Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria.

There is a demand for skilled tourism and hospitality workers, primarily with a vocational qualification (restaurant chefs, waiters and waitresses), but also for people with intermediate and higher qualifications (managers) as well as for unskilled workers (kitchen assistants, waiters and waitresses, housekeeping staff, buffet and bar staff, dish washers, restaurant chefs, etc.) with a compulsory school leavers' certificate, in particular in Tyrol, Salzburg, Styria, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna and in the tourist regions of the other federal provinces. Relevant professional experience and flexibility are required or preferable for all vacancies in this sector.

Sales staff in the food sector, shop and entrance cashiers, other sales staff, sales representatives and advertising specialists (with higher levels of training) are in demand, in particular in Vienna, Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria. The number of part-time employees is still on the rise in wholesale and retail trade.

Goods sorters and packers, depot and warehouse workers and packers, carriers and drivers and unskilled workers (mainly unskilled staff, but also those with vocational qualifications) are mainly in demand in Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria and Vienna. There are vacancies for cleaning staff in Upper Austria, Vienna and Lower Austria in particular.

In Vienna, Upper Austria, Styria and Lower Austria, hairdressers with a vocational qualification who are flexible and willing to learn are finding work. Graduate and non-graduate nursing staff (including with a compulsory school leavers’ certificate) mainly with intermediate and higher qualifications are in demand in all federal provinces, but particularly in Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Vienna and Styria.

In technical occupations, mechanical engineers (with a vocational and a higher educational qualification), technicians for data processing and construction, for high-voltage/low-voltage systems are in demand in particular in Upper Austria, Vienna, Styria and Lower Austria.

Vacancies for childcare workers, carers and social workers (including with a compulsory school leavers’ certificate but mainly with a higher educational qualification), graduate and non-graduate nursing staff (with a higher educational qualification) and in particular for working proprietors and directors and industrial and commercial professionals with higher or vocational qualifications are available in Lower Austria, Styria, Vienna and Upper Austria.

Vacancies are available for academically trained qualified engineers for mechanical engineering, construction, high-voltage/low-voltage systems, business and data processing (Upper Austria, Styria, Vienna, Lower Austria), and also legal advisers and lawyers (Vienna and Upper Austria), working proprietors and directors and industrial and commercial professionals (Vienna, Lower Austria and Upper Austria), accountants (Vienna), doctors (in Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vorarlberg and Vienna) and other qualified medical technicians as well as graduate nursing staff, carers and social workers in the relevant federal provinces, childcare workers, social scientists, economists and other academics, particularly in Vienna and Upper Austria.

Most vacancies are advertised in the federal provinces of Upper Austria, Vienna, Lower Austria and Styria.

Text last edited on: 04/2020

Short overview of the labour market:

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.

Text last edited on: 04/2016

Hot jobs:

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)