May 19. 2024. 12:48

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Austrian unemployment rate hits lowest level since 2008


The number of unemployed people in Austria continued to fall to 7% in February, with APA reporting that about 369,769 people were unemployed or in labour market service (AMS) training at the end of February, making this unemployment rate the lowest one in 15 years.

About 369,769 people in Austria were unemployed or in labour market service (AMS) training at the end of February, APA reported. The unemployment rate thus decreased to 7% according to national calculations and is at its lowest level since 2008.

“We continue to see, despite the challenges for businesses, despite the high energy prices, fortunately, no massive negative effects on the labour market,” Labour Minister Martin Kocher said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Recently, there were more declines in unemployment among women (4.6%), whereas the number of unemployed men or men in training increased by 0.1%.

What has risen is youth unemployment, with the number of unemployed persons under 25 climbing by 4.1% compared to the previous year, while persons of prime working age (25 to 49) saw a decrease of 1%. The development is particularly positive for older persons (50 years or older), showing a decline of 6.4% in this group.

AMS Managing Director Johannes Kopf also pointed to increased unemployment in the construction sector, which, according to him, would probably partly be due to the winter conditions.

In general, the decline in the number of people registered as unemployed is likely to end.

“The forecasts announce a slight increase in unemployment for this year and a decline again as early as 2024. That would be fine, but the shortage of skilled workers will remain,” said Kopf, APA reported.

The outlook for this year’s development would be not as good as last year’s, but there is “good reason for optimism if we succeed in continuing to make ourselves independent of fossil energy sources, especially Russia,” said Kocher. However, much depends on geopolitical developments, he stressed.

(Chiara Swaton | EURACTIV.de)