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The Austrian Labor Market and the Great Recession: Developments and Measures Taken



As the international financial and economic crisis unfolded, labor market conditions in Austria started to deteriorate in mid-2008, marking the onset of one of the severest crisis episodes in the Austrian labor market since World War II. Its effects have been surprisingly small, however, considering the scale of the decline in real economic activity. The reason for this moderate impact was that total hours worked declined more sharply than headcount employment. The working hour reductions were much more substantial than can be explained by short-time work alone, though. An international comparison shows country differences in the extent to which the decline in employment was based on reductions in headcount or hours worked per employee. Austria and Germany are among those countries in which hours worked declined most sharply, which made it possible to keep more people in employment. Even though labor market conditions in Austria have been improving over the past few months, unemployment figures and the number of participants in training programs by the Austrian Public Employment Service are still higher than they were before the crisis. Employment figures, too, have not yet returned to precrisis levels..

Suggested Citation

  • Alfred Stiglbauer, 2010. "The Austrian Labor Market and the Great Recession: Developments and Measures Taken," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 25-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2010:i:3:b:2

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Schneider, 2014. "Labor Productivity Developments in Austria in an International Perspective," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 13-35.
    2. Hermann, Christoph., 2011. "Collective bargaining and balanced recovery : the case of Austria," ILO Working Papers 994667043402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:466704 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    labor demand; recession; public policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy


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