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In March, Unemployment Increased by 11%

Byeditor

Apr 3, 2024

In March, the number of unemployed rose by double digits for the first time in months. At the end of the month, 369,640 people were registered with the Employment Service (AMS), which was 11 percent or almost 36,000 people more than a year ago. Of these, 291,468 were registered directly, and 78,172 were participating in AMS training programs.

AMS boss Johannes Kopf expressed concern over the negative trend, especially since Easter Sunday fell within the reporting period, typically a favorable time for employment. He believes Austria is still clearly in a recession, and that there may not be a rapid recovery in terms of reducing unemployment.

The increase in unemployment was most significant in the construction (+21.7 percent) and industry sectors (+20.3 percent), with men and younger people being more affected. Labor Minister Martin Kocher acknowledged the challenges in the current economic environment, with the unemployment rate at 6.2 percent a year ago.

The Chamber of Labor (AK) highlighted the rising long-term unemployment rates, particularly affecting those with health issues and the elderly. AK boss Renate Anderl emphasized the need to prevent unemployment from leading to poverty, especially due to the lack of adjustments in benefits over time.

While there was an increase in employment among older workers aged 60 and over, opposition parties SPÖ and FPÖ criticized the government for the rise in unemployment figures. The discussions around the reasons for the increase in unemployment and the need for policy action continue among various stakeholders in Austria.

By editor

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