Business elite’s salaries back at pre-crisis level

Top-level managers of Austria’s leading companies raked in a fifth more last year than in so-called crisis year 2009.Reports from today (Tues) have it that members of the executive boards of the 20 Austrian firms quoted on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) earned around 20 per cent more in 2010 than the year before when the domestic economy was ailing due to the effects of the global economic downturn.Today’s revelations mean that business bosses were paid as much as before the credit crunch as their incomes plunged by 20 per cent from 2008 to 2009.The Labour Chamber (AK) criticised that Austria’s WBAG-listed firms reduced their workforce by 4,000 last year after 20,000 redundancies in 2009. The AK said it was “not acceptable” that only a few benefit from the recovery of the economy while many have to bear the brunt.However, previously released research also showed that the domestic consumption did not suffer but increased in 2009 and 2010 when Austria and economies all over the world were struggling under the recession.The Austrian jobless rate did not soar dramatically either after the outbreak of the crisis in autumn 2008. The country has done best in this regard among the 27 European Union (EU) members in the past one and a half years alongside the Netherlands. Both countries can pride themselves with having managed to keep their unemployment rates below 4.5 per cent for most of that time span.