Unpaid overtime prevents creation of 60,000 new jobs

Austrians did more than 300 million hours of overtime last year, labour market experts have said.Upper Austrian Labour Chamber (AKOÖ) president Johann Kalliauer said today (Thurs) that around a third of the 314 million overtime hours was unpaid work.He further added that the creation of approximately 60,000 new full-time positions was hindered by the massive amount of unpaid extra work done by people across the country every year.Experts at the Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) said an extra four per cent of positions would be created by cutting down the weekly working hours of Austrians by an average of ten per cent.Official figures presented by the labour ministry earlier this week showed that around 4.9 per cent of people living in Austria were out of work last month.The European Commission (EC) announced yesterday it expected Austria’s jobless rate to reach 5.1 per cent this year and 5.4 per cent next year, while the overall unemployment rate in the European Union’s (EU) 27 states is feared to soar by an overall 10.7 per cent year on year in 2010.Austria’s 4.9 per cent is the second-lowest rate in the EU after the Netherlands where 4.1 per cent have no job.Austrian Labour Market Service (AMS) head Johannes Kopf recently warned Austrian unemployment figures would not improve by 2012 at the earliest.