How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted Austria’s job market?

Employment in Austria is being boosted by the relaxed lockdown measures and construction and industry are performing well, despite a massive economic slump due to reduced tourism.

Employment in Austria is being boosted by the relaxed lockdown measures and construction and industry are performing well, despite a massive economic slump due to reduced tourism.

Employment is up

Shops, hairdressers and other services reopening on Monday has already boosted employment figures. There are 4,500 fewer people unemployed or in training than last week.

However, 525,992 people in Austria are still waiting to find work, according to figures from work minister Martin Kocher

Construction performing 'relatively well'

The construction industry is getting through the economic crisis relatively well, with a drop of 1.6% in GDP, Minister of Economics Schramböck announced.

‘Skilled workers needed’ for industry

Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck said industry has created 450,000 jobs in Austria, and skilled workers are currently needed, even in the current crisis.

Industry is faring better in the pandemic than in 2019, when it was in recession, Wiener Zeitung recently reported.

Figures from Unicredit Bank Austria’s purchasing manager index show Austria’s industry has been growing for seven months.

In January the index reached the highest value for two years. Motorbike business KTM was mentioned by Minister Schramböck as one of the businesses which is looking for employees.

Exports

 Minister Schramböck is hoping Austria’s exports will be boosted by the recovery that is already emerging in Austria’s most important export partners China and the USA.

Massive economic slump

Gross domestic product (GDP) figures show there has been a massive economic slump in Austria. The latest calculations by the Wifo economic research institute, show domestic gross domestic product (GDP) was almost 14 percent below the previous year’s level.

Tourism

Finance Minister Gernot Blümel says the reasons why Austria has suffered a worse economic slump than neighbouring Germany, is its strong dependence on tourism.

Due to the corona-related tourism lockdown, the Alpine republic is currently losing around 3.5 percent of total economic output per week in ​​the accommodation and gastronomy industries, according to the economic research institute Wifo.

This has been exacerbated by lockdown measures for Austrians, as local tourism makes a significant contribution to Austrian hotels and restaurants, according to Blümel.