Labour market

Labour market facts and figures
A total of 4,319,100 people were in employment across 2018, of which 2,295,600 were male and 2,023,500 female.

2018 AMS at a glance

The employment rate for persons aged 15 to 64, i.e. the number of employed persons as a percentage of all persons in this age group, was at 73.0% on average in 2018. The part-time employment rate (share of persons working less than 36 hours a week according to information provided by them) amounted to 28.2%. However, 47.5% of women and only 11.2% of men in gainful employment were employed part-time.


On average, in 2018 the number of unemployed people was 355,637. This represents an unemployment rate of 8.7% (registered unemployed).
The youth unemployment rate (15 to 24 years old) was at 6.7%, whereas the unemployment rate of elderly people (50 plus) was at 8.7%. Non-Austrian citizens were particularly affected by unemployment (11.3%).
When comparing the provinces, unemployment was highest in Vienna with 12.3% and lowest in Tyrol with 4.9%.


Working conditions

Employees receive remuneration for the services specified in their contract of employment.  

The amount of remuneration is governed by laws, collective agreements and/or internal works agreements; it also depends on individual factors such as age, qualifications, working hours, assignment to duties (position), etc.  

In most cases remuneration is transferred to a salary/giro account on the last day of the month or on the first day of the following working month.  

In most cases, remuneration, if governed by a collective agreement and/or works agreement, is paid 14 times a year: twelve monthly salary payments plus one month’s pay in the form of a Christmas bonus and one month’s holiday bonus (known as special payments).    

Taxes, social insurance contributions and other deductions (e.g. union contributions) are deducted in the case of employees from gross pay and withheld by the employer, who then transfers them to the relevant institutions (Tax Office, social insurance institute, etc.).  

With their pay each month, employees usually receive a written statement of remuneration, their payslip, which contains a precise breakdown of deductions (taxes, social insurance, legally required and voluntary contributions, e.g. trade union dues).  



Working time
The Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz) applies to almost all private-sector employees over the age of 18. For young people and defined groups (e.g. drivers of motor vehicles) separate working time provisions apply.

Normal working time is:

-an 8-hour working day (working hours within a 24-hour period);
-a 40-hour working week (working hours from Monday to Sunday inclusive).

Collective agreements in many industries have shortened the working week, e.g. to 38 hours.

On this subject there exceptions and special rules.

Further information can be found at: ountryId=AT&living



Leave (annual leave, parental leave etc)  
Employees and apprentices have a minimum entitlement to paid annual leave of five weeks in each working year. In terms of working days, you are entitled to 30 days’ leave or 25 working days, which includes Saturdays, in each working year.
The working year starts on the day the employee joins the company.    

In addition to their monthly pay, employees in Austria may also receive a holiday bonus, known as the 14th monthly pay cheque or holiday money, if this is included in the collective agreement or their employment contract. 

In the first 6 months of your first year of employment, your leave entitlement is calculated on a pro rata basis. From the start of the 7th month, you receive the full leave entitlement. From the second year of employment, the full leave entitlement accrues from the beginning of the working year.  

For further information please go to:


Employment Status

Short-Term Contracts as Independent Contractors
Employment based on a short-term contract as an independent contractor (freier Dienstvertrag) is characterized as follows:

-      no or low level of personal dependence

-      independent contractors may engage subcontractors to fulfil their obligations

-      they can use their own resources

-      they are not incorporated into the corporate organization

-      they are normally paid by the hour


In contrast to the contract for work and labour, there is no warranty to produce a certain work.

Independent contractors working on short term contracts with a monthly remuneration exceeding the minimum salary limit (in 2018: € 438,05) have to be registered by the employer with the competent regional health insurance fund and hence enjoy health insurance coverage. They are entitled to sickness benefits starting with the fourth day of occupational incapacity; they thus enjoy accident, unemployment and pension insurance as well as are subject to the Law on Insurance against Non-Payment in case of Insolvency (Insolvenzentgeltversicherungsgesetz, IESG) stipulations. Independent contractors are also entitled to receive a position specification statement (Dienstzettel).

Please note: independent contractors only enjoy limited protection under the Austrian Labour Law. Without an appropriate agreement between the employer and the independent contractor there is however no legal entitlement to special benefits, vacation, a release from performance obligation and protection against dismissal. The Civil Code regulations (Allgemeine Bürgerliche Gesetzbuch (ABGB)) are however analogously applicable hereto regarding termination notice periods. They may receive severance pay when the applicable prerequisites have been satisfied and are subject to the Corporate Employee and Free-Lancer Pension Law (dem Betrieblichen Mitarbeiter- und Selbständigenvorsorgegesetz, BMSVG).

The employer must take out accident insurance for any persons receiving remuneration below the legally stipulated limit (low income employees, Geringfügig Beschäftigte) (monthly income up to € 438,05 in 2018).

Taking out voluntary health and pension insurance is possible; persons receiving remuneration below the legally stipulated limit have to apply at the competent regional health insurance fund themselves.

Independent contractors have to pay income taxes when their annual income exceeds a certain amount. They are classified as entrepreneurs and have to apply for a tax identification number with the responsible fiscal authorities.[1] (short term employment contract as an independent contractor (freier Dienstvertrag)) (brochure: Persons working on short term contracts as independent contractors (Broschüre: Freie DienstnehmerInnen)) (persons working on short term contractors as independent contractors (Freie Dienstnehmer))

[1] Vgl. Bittner (2015): Living and Working in Austria, S. 47 – 48. Vienna: Public Employment Service Austria (AMS Österreich).