Salzburg jobless rate down sharply

The number of unemployed people declined strongly in Salzburg last month, according to latest figures.The Federal Labour Market Service (AMS) said today (Fri) that 5.3 per cent of the province’s residents were out of work last month, down from 8.5 per cent in January 2010.The provinces of Tyrol (5.9 per cent), Vorarlberg (6.1 per cent) and Upper Austria (6.2 per cent) also recorded comparably low jobless rates last month.Carinthia had the highest unemployment rate among Austria¬ís nine political regions last month at 12.6 per cent. News from the job front in Burgenland (11.9 per cent unemployment) and Vienna (10.3 per cent) were similarly discouraging.The overall Austrian jobless rate dropped by 0.4 per cent to 8.5 per cent year on year last month, according to the AMS. The authority also has other criteria in estimating the number of people out of work other than Eurostat, the European Commission¬ís (EC) statistic agency.Eurostat recently said that 4.8 per cent of Austrians had no job last year, down from 4.9 per cent in 2009. The country had the lowest or second-lowest unemployment rate among all 27 European Union (EU) members last year. Only the Netherlands did slightly better than Austria in some months of 2010.Detailed figures from the Austrian job market show that 21.2 per cent of the approximately 310,000 people who were out of work last month were 50 years of age or older.The AMS also announced today that positions in the tourism sector were the most popular vacancies in Austria in 2010. Hotels, pubs and restaurants across the country hired more than 29,000 waiters last year. It has not been announced how many of these positions were subcontracted labour agreements. Activities of the Austrian tourism industry are responsible for 15 to 18 per cent of the federal gross domestic product (GDP).The AMS said earlier this month that firms from all sectors doing business in Austria offered around 404,700 positions last year, up by 14.3 per cent compared to the previous year. The vast majority of the offered jobs (74 per cent) were full-time positions, the agency added.