The Austrian Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs, in collaboration with the Labour Market Service (AMS), has unveiled the “BMAW AMS Skilled Workers Barometer” to improve the monitoring of labour shortages.
This quarterly index will provide timely information on the scarcity of skilled workers at the professional level in Austria and, in the future, for each individual province. Furthermore, it will be made public to allow the population to identify industries with a high number of vacancies.
What exactly is the ‘barometer’
The barometer is an index number calculated based on three sub-indicators: job placement (calculated by dividing the number of unemployed by the number of vacancies), access to vacancies (measuring the number of accesses and the relative change in access to vacancies), and the overall job market (counting the number and relative change of accesses to job advertisements).
During a press conference on Tuesday, June 6th, Martin Kocher, the Minister of Labour and Economic Affairs from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), expressed confidence that the skilled worker barometer would help recognise labour market developments earlier and enable faster reactions to these changes.
“The advantage of the new skilled worker barometer is not only to take as a basis those positions that are reported to the AMS, but also to be able to react more quickly to changes in demand,” said Johannes Kopf, the head of AMS.
However, he didn’t specify which reactions the government would take.
Where is there a lack of workers?
According to domestic companies, there were 228,300 job openings in the first quarter of 2023, which is practically the same number as the previous year when there were 227,700 unfilled positions.
Of the current job vacancies, 134,700 can be attributed to the service sector, 61,100 to the manufacturing sector, and 32,500 to the public sector. Only 118,100 of these vacancies were reported to AMS by companies, as stated by Statistics Austria.
One of the worst-affected sectors is construction, where 76 percent of companies report a shortage of skilled labour, as The Local has reported.
Both tourism and engineering also report a particularly acute shortage of workers, although nearly all sectors are struggling.
Regionally, the shortage is most pronounced in Carinthia, where 73 percent of companies report needing staff. This compares with about 67 percent in Upper Austria and only 20 percent in Vorarlberg.