Vienna jobless rate shoots up

Viennese politicians and businesspeople have failed to reduce the city’s jobless rate.

Official figures presented today (Fri) show that the number of unemployed people residing in the Austrian capital rose by 6.9 per cent. Overall, nearly 74,000 Viennese citizens were out of work this month. The Federal Labour Market Service (AMS) explained Vienna and Carinthia were the only Austrian provinces with an increase of jobless people in June compared to the same month of last year.

Experts have stressed that especially people who were not graduates and jobseekers with low qualifications struggle to find work. Speaking about the situation in Vienna, they explained that the city had a strong service sector which was not as badly affected as other branches at the peak of the crisis. While other provinces have seen unemployment rates fall in the past month, Vienna has experienced a contrary development.

Austria’s overall jobless rate was found to be the second-lowest in the European Union (EU) at 4.3 per cent in May (April 2011: 4.2 per cent), down by 0.3 percentage points compared to May 2010. The Netherlands did best (4.2 per cent), with Luxembourg in third place as 4.5 per cent of residents of the country had no job in May. Among all 27 member states, Spain struggled most. The southern European country recorded an unemployment rate of 20.9 per cent in May. Similar rates were registered in the past months. Around four in 10 young Spaniards have no job.

The EU average was found to be 9.3 per cent in May, unchanged from April and down from 9.4 per cent in March. Around 9.9 per cent of residents of the EU’s 17 Eurozone member nations were out of work in May 2011. These countries – which use the Euro as their currency – recorded an average unemployment rate of 10.2 per cent in the same month of the previous year. These figures mean that 22.4 million EU citizens had no work in May. Around 15.5 million of them resided in Eurozone countries.

Detailed figures for Austria show that the joblessness in crucial sectors of the economy such as the construction sector (minus 8.8 per cent) and the tourism industry (minus 3.9 per cent) dropped last month compared to June 2010. Austria’s leading building firms Strabag SE, Alpine Bau and Porr AG are key players in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) industry. The tourism industry creates nearly 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).