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JOBS

Working in Austria: A roundup of the latest jobs news and information

Find out all the latest information related to working in Austria with The Local's weekly roundup of job news.

Wine taverns are still doing good business in Burgenland according to a recent survey. (Photo by Sandra Dempsey on Unsplash)
Wine taverns are still doing good business in Burgenland according to a recent survey. (Photo by Sandra Dempsey on Unsplash)

Record vacancies in tourism and retail jobs sectors

There are a record number of job vacancies in Austria’s tourism, temporary and retail jobs sectors as the economy picks up sharply following the Covid-19 pandemic, Die Presse newspaper reports. At the end of August, public employment agency AMS reported 113, 849 vacancies, up 72.5% compared to the same time last year. There were around 27,500 jobs in the temporary sector and 18,200 in retail being advertised. 

City tourism and micro businesses still suffering

Although in Austria’s rural regions tourism is recovering, tourism in cities such as Linz is still far behind pre-pandemic levels, according to the Wiener Zeitung newspaper. The paper features an interview with Lower Austrian self-employed tour guide Sonja Thauerböck, who says cruise ships on the Danube are running at well below 50 percent occupancy. According to the paper, more than 330,000 one-person companies (EPU) in Austria are faring similarly to Thauerböck, with hairdressers, physiotherapists, artists and restaurateurs all suffering a downturn in fortunes. Many are dreading the end of October, when government aid for micro businesses may end. Many debts, including deferred social insurance payments, are also now due.  “For many EPU it is now a period of rude awakening,” Sonja Lauterbach, founder of the EPU forum on Facebook, is quoted as saying.

Labour law around employers and vaccinations explored

The labour lawyer Georg Schima has attempted to answer the question whether employees can make being vaccinated against Covid-19 a condition of employment.

He also explores if an employee who refuses to be vaccinated can be dismissed in a blog post in  Der Standard newspaper.

He says employers are allowed to require applicants for a job to be vaccinated. If the applicant lies that she or has been vaccinated, or refuses to vaccinate, having promised to do so, they can be dismissed.

He says it is not possible to dismiss employees who were hired before a vaccine requirement was in place if they refuse to get the jab. However, these people could be asked to wear masks at work or bear the cost of testing for Covid-19.

Inflation is expected to rise in Austria

In August, Austria’s inflation rate jumped to 3.1 percent, the highest in ten years, and it is also expected to rise in 2021. According to Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas, speaking to the Krone Zeitung, the inflation is being caused by both short-term and structural effects.

The strong rise in energy prices is currently having an impact, with the price of crude oil having risen from a low of $20 a barrel in February 2020. The general economy is picking up again strongly after the pandemic year, which is driving up many raw material prices such as wood and metals, leading to increases in prices.

An additional driver of inflation  in Austria is the disproportionately high share of tourism and other services in the shopping basket, which is used to measure the inflation rate.

Since 2015, services have been 14.8 percent more expensive on average, but general inflation has only increased by 11.3 percent.  Despite these influences, according to the Austrian Institute for Economic Research Wifo, inflation should only rise moderately this year to 2.3 percent.

Wine taverns continue in business in Burgenland

After a sharp decline over the past few decades, the number of wine taverns (Heurige und Buschenschänke) in Burgenland has stabilised. There are currently estimated to be around 340 taverns according to the Burgenland Chamber of Agriculture, and the number has stayed stable for the past five years, broadcaster ORF reports. The communities with the most wine taverns and wine taverns in Burgenland are currently Leithaprodersdorf (Eisenstadt-Umgebung district) and Rechnitz (Oberwart district).

Useful links

Looking for a job in Austria or just want a little more information about working here, then check out the following links: 

Working in Austria: Ten German words you need to know when looking for a job

Working in Vienna: How to find a job in the Austrian capital

How to survive as a freelancer in Austria

The jobs roundup is new addition and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]

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JOBS

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Though Austria is mainly known for its winter resorts, there is no shortage of possibilities for those looking for seasonal jobs in summer.

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Summer is coming up, and those few hot months are a perfect opportunity for many people to get a seasonal job and earn some extra cash.

Austria’s economy is heavily based on tourism. But even though the winter resorts and sports are what the alpine country is most well-known for, the summer months are also hectic in the tourism and gastronomy sectors.

The demand for seasonal workers usually is high but has increased even more in the last few years. According to the Austrian employment agency AMS, there are more than 15,000 open positions in gastronomy and tourism still lacking workers.

The pandemic widened the gap, as the sector was hardly hit by lockdowns and changes in consumer behaviour. With coronavirus restrictions, the field lost some of its attraction. It is still having trouble finding new labour, AMS boss Johannes Kopf told broadcaster ORF.

A summer without coronavirus restrictions

However, for the first time since the pandemic started, Austria will see a summer with almost no coronavirus restrictions.

The country has recently dropped its 3G rule for entry for travellers, meaning that tourists (and residents) no longer have to show proof that they were vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or tested negative.

The expectation is high that this will boost tourism, especially as the 3G rules and the mask mandate also fell in most indoor areas.

READ MORE: LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules?

Last year, even with some restrictions still in place, the sector saw a recovery compared to 2020 but was still not at pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistik Austria.

Still, the May to October season had more than 66 million overnight stays, with almost half of them (42.7 per cent) coming from Germany.

From imperial cities to lakes and mountains, Austria has no shortage of offers during summer. As travelling resumes, the sector is desperately looking for workers.

vienna, pratter

Vienna is big touristic destination also during summer months (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

Where can I find summer jobs in Austria?

The capital is undoubtedly where most visitors come, according to Statistik Austria. However, it is also where many establishments have a year-round crew, and seasonal work might not be as easy to find.

It is far from impossible, though, and it is worth the search if you have your eyes set on Vienna.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

However, other major Austrian cities also have openings, most notably the touristic towns of and around Innsbruck and Salzburg. Of course, the mountainous region of Austria might be most famous for its ski slopes. Still, they also offer breathtaking summer views, cool and beautiful alpine lakes, and numerous hiking trails.

Plus excellent hotels for people to stay in and great Austrian restaurants – all looking for employees.

What types of jobs are available?

There are many job openings to skim through, but most will be the most traditional service work in tourism and gastronomy: waitressing, housekeeping, cooking, and reception.

If you look outside of Vienna, several professions in the tourism and gastronomy sector are included in Austria’s list of shortage occupations.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Those include some surprising ones like department store sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, masseuses, and others. If you don’t have a right to work in Austria (non-EU citizens without a work permit, for example), being skilled in a shortage occupation makes it easier to be hired and get a residence permit.

Most of these jobs will require a certain level of German, especially since Germans are an overwhelming part of tourists entering Austria. However, the high demand for workers might help those who do not speak the language yet, especially for positions that don’t require much customer interaction.

READ ALSO: Austria: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

Another popular job for summer is instructor, or caretaker, in summer camps. As many of them are bilingual or in English, German is not usually a mandatory language – there are also positions for English teachers, especially in camps and schools with summer courses.

Where can I find these jobs?

As with most industries and professions, searching online is usually the first step in finding a summer job in Austria.

Outside of known employment platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, Austria’s Karriere.at might be a good place to look.

READ ALSO: Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Hogastjob is also a local platform with plenty of seasonal offers in Austria, Germany and Italy (South Tyrol region).

Another approach is to contact resorts or hotels directly to find out when they are hiring for the summer season and the types of roles that will be available – they should also have a job vacancies page on official websites that you can check.

Or get in touch with friends that have previously worked in the summer season in Austria and ask for a recommendation.

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