The Labour Market Monitor 2021 shows that some countries came through the crisis relatively unscathed, whereas others appear to be less resilient. Austria is falling behind top performers in some areas, but is mainly still above EU average. Only regarding the exclusion risks on the labour market, Austria is behind other EU countries.
Based on 58 indicators, the key labour market dimensions considered are: overall labour market performance, participation of different groups of people, exclusion risks on the labour market, distribution of earnings and redistribution by the welfare state. The Labour Market Monitor 2021 summarises the results of the monitoring system, based on Eurostat data predominantly from 2020. It thus provides a descriptive insight into the different ways in which EU countries have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Overall Performance of the Labour Market
"Overall Performance", refers to the labour market in the context of the overall economic situation of a country based on the interplay of employment, unemployment, economic growth and productivity. Based on the data from 2020, Ireland performed best, while Greece had the worst overall performance. Austria’s position is in the upper mid-field, although there is a need to catch up in terms of the high proportion of part-time work. Women in particular work part-time: the gender-specific difference in the employment rate in full-time equivalents in Austria is 18.8 percentage points, the fourth highest in the EU. (ITA: 22.5 percentage points, FI: 5.1 percentage points).
Participation of different Groups of People
"Participation", captures the extent to which different groups of people (e.g. young and old, women and men) are integrated into the labour market. Denmark is most successful in integrating a wide range of groups into the labour market. In contrast, Greece has the most catching up to do, followed by Italy. With regard to participation, Austria occupies a top position, whereas the gap to upper mid-field countries is relatively small. Austria’s strengths include the low share of involuntary temporary employment (AT: 0.6 %, EU-27: 6.8 %), as well as the comparatively high spending for active labour market policy measured in terms of GDP (0.5 % of GDP or 0.1 % per percentage point in unemployment). However, Austria is trailing behind in respect of the employment rate of women compared to men of working age (AT: 8.2 percentage points, LT: 1.2 percentage points, ITA: 18.2 percentage points).
Exclusion Risks on the Labour Market
This section intends to capture the capacity of a country to enable fair access to the labour market and the chances of remaining employed. Here, the educational level and the available childcare infrastructure play an important role. Ahead of Denmark and Finland, Sweden is most successful in keeping the exclusion risks in the labour market at a low level. Austria can only be found in the lower mid-field; Rumania comes in last. Austria performs particularly poorly when it comes to the proportion of employees who only work part-time due to care responsibilities. At 9.0 % (total, women 18.5 %), their share is double the EU-27 average (total 3.8 %, women 7.6 %) making, it the second highest among EU countries monitored. Austria also lags behind when it comes to childcare: only 21.1 % of children under the age of three attend a formal childcare facility (EU-27: 32.3 %).
Distribution of Earnings
In terms of the level and distribution of earned income, Belgium ranks first, while Bulgaria ranks last. Austria occupies a position in the upper mid-field and scores above all with high incomes. In respect of gross remuneration adjusted to purchasing power and wages, Austria ranks at the top. On the other hand, the gender pay gap of 19.9% – the third highest in the EU – stands out negatively.
Redistribution by the Welfare State
This category measures the effectiveness of state interventions and public expenditures on social protection and education. Concerning social security and transfer levels, Denmark performs best; Rumania occupies a low position whereas Austria is among the top performers. Austria’s strengths are its high and above average social protection benefits in % of the GDP as well as the fact that the social benefits granted, reduce the at-risk-of-poverty rate. At 13.9 %, the at-risk-of-poverty rate after social benefits is also below the EU average of 17.1 %. On the other hand, Austria performs poorly when it comes to education expenditure as a percentage of GDP, which is in the lower midfield in comparison to other EU countries (AT: 4.8 %, EU-27: 4.7 %).