The phase of stagnation of the Austrian economy, which could be observed at the beginning of 2013, has been overcome. Since mid-2013 a slight upward trend has been recorded, which is expected to accelerate during the forecast horizon (period up to 2018). The GDP growth is projected to average 2.4% by the year 2018. Austria’s competitive export sector will benefit from improved international framework conditions. Compared to 2012, the global economic climate has brightened, and the situation in some EU Member States has stabilised – despite the continuing high unemployment and the limited room for manoeuvre of public budgets. NonEuropean third countries will become increasingly important as export destinations for Austria in the period up to 2018.
The labour market supply in Austria will continue to expand significantly during the forecast period. In 2014 labour supply will again increase from the prior-year level. This is due to several overlapping developments which have an expansionary effect on the labour market supply, e.g.:
- the Europeanisation of the Austrian labour market
- the increasing economic activity of women
- expanding labour supply in the wake of reforms which aim at increasing the retirement age.
The recently observed minor economic recovery will be reflected in the employment behaviour of Austrian enterprises only with some delay. The employment growth will accelerate only in the second half of 2014. The total number of persons employed will increase by 224,400 between 2014 and 2018. In 2018 about 3,616,000 persons will therefore hold standard jobs.
The Austrian labour market will be confronted with increasing unemployment up to the year 2015. The number of jobless persons will start decreasing from the prior-year level only in 2016. The unemployment rate will rise to 8.1% in 2014 and drop insignificantly as from the year 2015. An unemployment rate of 7.1% is likely to be reported in 2018.