Most part time staff kept jobs

The vast majority of workers in Styria asked to work part time during the economic crisis have held onto their jobs, it has been announced.Thomas Krautzer, head of the Federation of Austrian IndustriesÂ’ (IV) Styrian branch, said today (Weds) 95 per cent of the 17,000 staff who were made part time by dozens of industrial companies in the province during the past two years are still employed.Most labour market experts consider the Austrian part time work model as a good way to get through the crisis. The labour ministry of Social Democrat (SPĂ–) Rudolf Hundstorfer agreed with the Labour Market Service (AMS) to financially compensate firms deciding to put their employees into part time instead of sacking them for losses suffered during the economic downturn. The number of workers in the industrial sector employed part time peaked in April 2009 with 57,000.Fewer than 4,300 employees in 53 companies across Austria went part time in September of this year, while the overall unemployment rate rose by 0.2 per cent to 4.5 per cent from month to month.Krautzer also said a poll among 65 Styrian companies found that around half of them planned to hire additional staff in the near future. The IV official, however, warned that several branches of the Austrian economy faced a shortage of skilled employees.Statistik Austria, meanwhile, said Austrian firms imported goods worth 71.71 billion Euros last August, up by 14 per cent year on year. The value of exports improved by 15.3 per cent to 69.59 billion Euros at the same time, according to the federal statistics body.