The unemployment rate increased by 11% in March.

Austria has seen a sharp rise in unemployment for the first time in months, with the number of unemployed people increasing by double digits. This development has caused concern for AMS boss Johannes Kopf, who noted that the situation was particularly challenging given the favorable employment conditions usually seen around Easter.

The increase in unemployment was most significant in the construction and industry sectors, with men and younger people being disproportionately affected. The Chamber of Labor highlighted the rise in long-term unemployment, particularly affecting those with health issues and older individuals. They expressed concern about the financial difficulties faced by households affected by unemployment.

Despite this, older employees aged 60 and over saw a recent increase in employment. Amidst criticisms from opposition parties, the government was called out for inaction in addressing the rising unemployment figures. The ÖGB managing director also raised concerns about the mismatch between rising unemployment and the demand for skilled workers, particularly in sectors like tourism.

While there were fewer available vacancies reported to AMS year-on-year, there is still high demand for skilled workers in certain sectors. The skilled labor barometer indicates opportunities in industries like electrical installation and cooking. The hope is for relief and an increase in work permits to address the labor market challenges.

Labour Minister Martin Kocher acknowledged that Austria was still in a clear recession and that a rapid recovery reducing unemployment was unlikely, especially with high inflation and excess personnel capacity in companies.

The number of unemployed people rose by double digits for the first time

By Samantha Johnson

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