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Working in Austria roundup: How good is the post-Covid job market?

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

Working in Austria roundup: How good is the post-Covid job market?
How well has Austria's economy rebounded since Covid? Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

Will the 3G rule be introduced in the workplace?

As other countries around Europe bring in measures to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, Austria is now mulling whether to implement 3G rules in the workplace.

The 3G rule means people have to prove they are vaccinated, recovered or tested negative for the virus to enter certain places, like cafes, bars, restaurants and events.

But what is the likelihood of a 3G rule in the workplace in Austria?

According to Vienna Online, the Austrian Federation of Trade Union has a positive view of the suggestion after the announcement of similar measures in Italy increased the vaccination rate there. 

READ MORE: Will Austria require the Covid green pass in workplaces? 

From October 15 in Italy, all workplaces will have to implement the 3G rule.

In Austria, talks are currently ongoing between the social partners and the trade union federation, and the Ministry of Health is reported to be open to expanding 3G to the workplace.

The measures being discussed would include all workplaces, not just offices.

There are also calls for a nationwide antibody study to determine the effectiveness of immunity against Covid-19.

Metal workers demand pay rise

The metal technology industry is calling for a 4.5 percent pay rise, as well as an increase in the apprenticeship and night work allowance.

Rainer Wimmer from the PRO-GE union argues that the industry is in an “exceptionally good situation” with full order books and an increase in productivity of 3.3 percent.

Wimmer also referenced “horrendous inflation” as a reason for demanding a pay rise.

In Austria, there are around 80,000 employees in the metal technology industry, including 8,000 apprentices.

Apprentices currently earn a monthly salary of €749 in the first year. In the electronics industry it is €914 and in the chemical industry it is €993.

Unions are calling for apprenticeship salaries to be raised to €1,000 in the first year, €1,300 in the second year, €1,600 in the third and €2,000 in the fourth year.

Austria has a high level of long-term unemployment

General unemployment in Austria is now back to pre-pandemic levels but long-term unemployment is still above average – especially when compared with Scandinavian countries.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), twelve to 17 percent of unemployed people in Scandinavia have been without a job for more than a year. 

READ MORE: How to find a job in winter sports in Austria

However, in Austria the figure is 24 percent.

One reason for the difference in long-term unemployed figures is that more people in Austria have “company-specific skills”, according to an article in Der Standard.

Whereas in Scandinavian countries, there is a stronger emphasis on transferable skills and general “know-how”.

Fewer people on Kurzarbeit than expected

In Austria, there are fewer people on Kurzarbeit (short-time work) than previously expected.

There are currently 52,056 people registered for Kurzarbeit but experts had expected around 120,000 people.

There are also fewer people in general unemployment with around 339,000 people out of work in Austria. This is around 7,000 less than a week ago.

Kurzarbeit was introduced as a protective measure against the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It allows people to keep their jobs but work fewer hours, with the state paying a percentage of the salary.

Useful links

Looking for a new job or just interested in learning more about working in Austria, then take a look at the articles below.

Explained: What is like being self-employed in Vienna?

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

Unemployment benefits in Austria: Who is eligible and how much can you get?

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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 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.