Migrants in Vienna stuck in low-paid work

Migrants in Vienna stuck in low-paid work
Photo: APA/dpa
Almost half the population of Vienna - 49 percent - has an immigrant background and suffers discrimination in the work market according to Vienna’s Integration and Diversity Monitoring group.

Despite having qualifications, many people with a migration background are often stuck in low-paid jobs.

Integration Councillor Sandra Frauenberger (SPÖ) said that 31 percent of people with a migration background are first generation immigrants, and 18 percent are second generation. 23 percent of Viennese residents have a foreign passport.

According to the latest findings from the monitoring group more than half of those immigrants who have lived in Vienna since the mid-1990s have finished secondary school. But despite their qualifications they have trouble finding decent jobs – especially those who originally come from non-EU countries. A third of those with good Matura grades only find work in semi-skilled, low-paid jobs.

The net income of households with no migration background has increased by ten percent in the last ten years – to an average of €23,000 a year. However, in households with a migration background the average household income remains at €15,000.

Frauenberger said that the city council wants migrant's existing skills and qualifications to have more recognition.

She also said that it was a problem that 24 percent of Vienna’s voting age population are excluded from casting their ballot because they don’t have Austrian citizenship. A change to the voting law can only be made at federal level.

The number of people taking Austrian citizenship this year is up 6.4 percent on last year, according to the latest figures from Statistik Austria.

5,671 people took Austrian citizenship in the first nine months of this year, the majority were from Bosnia and Herzegovina (14.8 percent), followed by Turkey (12 percent), and Serbia (9 percent).

More than a third of new citizens were born in Austria. Birth in Austria does not in itself confer Austrian citizenship, but it may lead to a reduction in the residence requirement for naturalisation.

In July, the far-right Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache called for immigrants who don't learn the German language to be expelled.

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