202,300 jobs were registered as unfilled in Austrian enterprises during the third quarter of 2023, according to Statistics Austria, the country’s official statistics agency.
Meanwhile, in the previous quarter, the number of job vacancies was 214,000.
In spite of the 5.5 per cent drop compared to the previous quarter, the number of job vacancies still remains at a high level, according to Tobias Thomas, general director of Statistics Austria.
The shortage of labour is also reflected in the job vacancy rate: at 4.6 per cent, the share of vacancies in all available jobs in the third quarter was only slightly below the level of the second quarter at 4.9 per cent.
Out of the overall 202,300 job vacancies, 120,100 were in the service sector, 46,200 in manufacturing, and 36,000 in the public sector. Concurrently, the Public Employment Service (AMS) received reports of 120,500 vacancies during the same period. These job listings are reported to the AMS with the intent of facilitating personnel recruitment.
The population in Austria, registered in June 2023, is estimated at about 9.1 million. Of those, only around six million are of working age.
The average population age in Austria is 43.2 years, while last year, the total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.41. Moreover, in 2022, Austria registered a decrease in births and an increase in deaths compared to the previous year, resulting in a negative balance of births and deaths amounting to 9,909. According to Thomas, Austria has been facing a birth deficit for the third year in a row.
For those reasons, Austria heavily relies on foreign workforce to support its economy. Foreigners who aim to live and work in Austria can benefit from this labour shortage and start the procedures of getting a work visa for Austria. The fields that need the most skilled workers, according to EURES, are as follows:
- Unskilled construction workers, bricklayers
- Operators of goods handling equipment (with a compulsory schooling qualification)
- Electrical fitters and electricians (with a higher level of education)
- Fitters, metal and construction fitters, pipe fitters, machine fitters
- Lathe operators
- Painters and decorators
- Joiners and cabinet makers
- Motor vehicle technicians and mechanics
- Industrial mechanics and welders (unskilled workers but chiefly skilled workers with professional experience)
- Restaurant chefs, waiters, managers (with a vocational qualification)
- Kitchen assistants, waiters, housekeepers, buffet and bar staff, restaurant chefs, pot washers (unskilled workers)
- Sales staff in the food sector, cashiers, sales representatives, advertising specialists
- Goods sorters and packers, depot and warehouse workers and packers, haulage contractors and drivers, and labourers (mainly unskilled staff, but also those with vocational qualifications)
Recently, Austria has been facing a shortage of hairdressing positions as well. As authorities have revealed, hairdressers are highly needed in Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, and Vorarlberg.
Shortage Professions in Austria Are Amongst the Better Paid Ones
According to the Economic Research Institute (ERI), the average pay for construction workers in Austria is €46,828 a year and €23 an hour, while for bricklayers, it is €50,438 a year and €24 an hour.
Fitters in Austria have an average pay of €31,143 a year and €15 an hour, while the average pay for pipefitters is €55,539 a year and €27 an hour, and for electricians is €54,469 a year and €26 an hour.
Whereas the average pay for restaurant chefs is €46,705 a year and €22 an hour; for kitchen helpers €27,750 a year and €13; for waiters €27,400 a year and €13 an hour; for cleaner Housekeeping €29,065 a year and €14 an hour.
The current minimum wage in Austria is €1,500 per month, while the average wage is €2,182 per month, according to Expatica.
Is a Visa Necessary to Work in Austria?
In order to work in Austria, non-Austrian citizens need to apply for a D Visa, which is a long-term visa, while the only exceptions to this rule are residents from within the EU and EFA.
However, highly skilled workers from other countries who want to live and work in Austria can earn a Red-White-Red card. This document guarantees its holder a both work and residence permit for up to two years.
Travellers to Austria on a Schengen Visa are not eligible to work, or to covert their short-term visa into a long-term visa for employment or other purposes. In order to be eligible to work in Austria, foreign nationals should apply from their country of residence.
According to EURES, as of October 2022, there were over 900,000 foreign workers employed in Austria.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Austria?
While Austria is grouped amongst the European countries with better wages and living conditions, this all comes with a price, that of higher living costs. According to Numbeo, Austria is the world’s 25th most expensive country to live in and Europe’s 11th.
Yet, living costs in this country widely depend on the location where you live, as well as the number of people living in your household. The estimated monthly costs for a single person, not including the rent, amount to €1,015, while a family of four is estimated to incur €3,458.7 in monthly expenses, according to the same source.
Rent also varies depending on the location and size. The projected rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is €831.17, while a similar apartment but outside the city centre costs €676.44.
Whereas for a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre, the estimated cost is €1,501.28, and for an equivalent apartment outside the city centre the estimated cost is €1,185.30.