Unemployment increased in November 2023.
At the end of November, 352,551 people in Austria were registered with the AMS as unemployed or in training; that figure was nearly 22,000 more than a year ago. The unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. While this rate was 6.3 percent in October, this rate was 6.1 percent a year ago. The unemployment rate is still significantly lower compared to 2019, 2020 and 2021, the ministry says.
352,551 people were unemployed in November
“Austria is in the middle of a recession,” AMS boss Johannes Kopf said on Friday. Given the labor shortage over the past two years, companies are still very hesitant to make staff cuts, but 6.7 percent more people were unemployed or in training at the end of November than a year earlier. “High material and credit costs are particularly affecting the construction industry, with an increase of 14.4 percent,” says Kopf. “But the export-oriented sector, which luckily managed to reach an agreement with the unions yesterday, the most important collective agreement, especially under difficult conditions, also shows a significant increase in unemployment, with an increase of 10.3 percent.” According to the AMS, construction and industry, Upper Austria and Styria It also explains the larger increase in male unemployment in the industrialized states of .
“Hopefully, economic research institutes will not have to revise their economic forecasts downward again for next year. A prolonged economic slump would probably force many companies to lay off employees and then lead to a much higher increase in unemployment,” Kopf said. .
Minister of Labor Martin Kocher (ÖVP) spoke with a much more optimistic statement today: “Seasonal effects in the construction industry always take effect at the beginning of winter, it is not an unexpected development. 19,936 people were registered at the end of November. The last time AMS worked in the construction industry was this.” “The numbers will peak at the beginning of the year.” Although the general economic situation has a negative impact on the labor market, overall the situation on the labor market remains stable and the demand for qualified workers remains high, with 95,030 vacancies reported to the AMS at the end of November. The Economic Union even recorded more than 185,000 job vacancies on its jobs monitor at the end of November. “We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” warned Kurt Egger, Secretary General of the Economic Union, in his statement.
SPÖ reacted with criticism
“The economy is shrinking, unemployment is rising and the turquoise green government continues to do nothing about inflation,” SPÖ social spokesman Josef Muchitsch said in a release. It calls for greater investment in social housing and thermal regeneration to not only expand affordable housing but also boost employment.
FPÖ social spokesperson Dagmar Belakowitsch criticized in her statement that “there are no effective and sustainable measures to combat increasing unemployment.” Kocher acted “irresponsibly, unconceptually, mindlessly and almost negligently”. According to Belakowitsch, despite high unemployment, the government’s desire to facilitate the recruitment of foreign workers by expanding the list of professions with shortages is “a completely wrong approach”.
More staff needed for AMS
ÖGB Federal Director General Ingrid Reischl and EC President Renate Anderl used the publication of current labor market data as an opportunity to call for more staff for the AMS. According to the announcement, Anderl said the planned staff cuts at AMS were the wrong approach given the increasing demands. And Reischl: “We therefore call on Federal Ministers Kocher and Brunner to refrain from this planned workforce reduction due to the current situation on the labor market.” Cutting budgets and training places for young people in intercompany training also has a completely counterproductive effect. Likewise, the planned cut to the budget for skilled worker scholarship training does not make sense.”
Staff shortage poses a problem for companies
Industrial Union (IV) Secretary General Christoph Neumayer drew attention to the labor shortage in Austria. “In addition to economically challenging times, ongoing staff shortages continue to pose major challenges for companies. Despite the economic slowdown, for example, there are many more vacancies than before the corona pandemic and unemployment is not increasing to the same extent as expected in these times. Companies in Austria need to be able to protect our prosperity It needs enough workers and skilled workers.”
Of the total 352,551 unemployed people, 275,710 are looking for work and 76,841 are participating in AMS training measures. The number of male unemployed people increased by 9.6 percent compared to the previous year, reaching 153 thousand 667, and the number of female unemployed people increased by 4.0 percent, reaching 122 thousand 43. The unemployment rate for women is 6.2 percent and for men is 6.8 percent. A total of 2.12 million men and 1.84 million women work in Austria.