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Long term unemployment soars

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14:47 CET+01:00
In statistics published by Austria's employment service (AMS), the number of long-term unemployed persons in the country has nearly tripled in the past year.

At the end of November 2014, there were 16,447 people who have been out of work for more than 12 months.  Since then, the number has soared by 31,398 up to 47,845, an increase of 191 percent.

Overall employment statistics are also grim, with an increase since last month of 5.6 percent, meaning a total of 430,107 people out of work, according to a report in the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

If you add in the number of people in training -- some 70,814 -- the number increases to 6.1 percent.

In total, the unemployment rate generally as a proportion of the working population stands at 9.2 percent.  These figures do not yet reflect the recent massive job losses expected with the insolvency of the Zielpunkt supermarket chain, which is likely to lead to the loss of another 3,000 jobs.

The chief of the Austrian unemployment service (AMS) Johannes Kopf explained that "a poor economic situation since 2012 has led to a consolidation of unemployment."

Older Austrians are particularly affected, with a significant increase of 13.5 percent among those over 50 years of age, bringing the total to 97,318 ageing workers.

All major industries have been affected by the trend, including the tourism sector, which has seen a 4.6 percent increase in jobless.

The construction business was also affected, with a 3.8 percent increase.

There was little difference between the rates for men and women. Youth unemployment however decreased slightly, as employers are switching to less experienced people to save costs.

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