Job anxiety slowly ebbing

Austrians’ anxiety about losing their jobs has been slowly ebbing, according to results of a new poll by Linz public-opinion research firm Spectra released today (Fri).Results show that 80 per cent believe their jobs are safe, up from 75 per cent last summer.The young are less anxious than the old, with 81 per cent of people aged 15 to 29 confident about their jobs, up from 67 per cent last summer. Among those over 50, however, 81 per cent are confident, down from 86 per last summer.Only five per cent of people in Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg fear the loss of their jobs, down from 13 per cent last summer, whereas 30 per cent of the Viennese have that fear, up from 18 per cent last summer.Forty-four per cent believe their jobs will become less secure during the next year, compared to 59 per cent last summer, and nine per cent say their jobs will become more secure this year, up from six per cent last summer.Specra polled 1,000 Austrians older than 16 in January 2010.Austrians are more optimistic at a time when unemployment continues to increase.Officials said earlier this month that it was the first time in the country’s post-war history that as many as 312,906 people had had no work in February. If people taking re-education courses offered by the Labour Market service (AMS) are considered, the February figures jump to 396,332, a 10.2 per cent year on year increase.Social Democratic (SPÖ) Labour Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer warned that 2010 would be a “very difficult year”.AMS head Johannes Kopf warned that unemployment figures would not decline either this year or next year. Kopf said he expected the situation to improve by 2012 at the earliest.He claimed that the opening of the Austrian labour market to new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe in 2011 would make the situation more difficult.The AMS boss, however, also said that signs of a recovery by Austrian industry were already visible.