In March, Unemployment Increased by 11%

Unemployment Surges in Austria: Labor Minister Acknowledges Challenges and Calls for Urgent Action

In March, Austria experienced a significant increase in unemployment, with the number of jobless rising by double digits for the first time in months. This was a cause for concern among Employment Service (AMS) boss Johannes Kopf, who expressed his worry about the negative trend, especially since Easter Sunday fell within the reporting period, traditionally a favorable time for employment.

Kopf believes that Austria is still in a recession and that there may not be a rapid recovery in terms of reducing unemployment. The construction (+21.7 percent) and industry sectors (+20.3 percent) were most affected by the rise in unemployment, with men and younger people being more impacted.

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) emphasized the need to prevent long-term unemployment from leading to poverty, particularly for those with health issues and the elderly. AK boss Renate Anderl highlighted this issue and called on policymakers to address it promptly.

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.

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