The corona crisis led to a decrease in working hours across Europe. In Austria, working hours fell by 15.7 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to calculations by the Agenda Austria think tank. The EU-27 average is 14.9 percent.
The decline was strongest in the southern countries of Spain, Greece and Portugal, where the time worked fell by around a quarter each. It has fallen the least in the Nordic countries Finland (-5.8 percent), Sweden (-4.3 percent) and Denmark (-3.6 percent).
Austria must exit short-time working as quickly as possible, said Agenda Austria economist Dénes Kucsera, according to a broadcast on Monday. “The longer the short-time work lasts, the less it can cushion the effect of the crisis and the greater the costs in the years after the crisis,” says Kucsera. In addition, Austria would run the risk of no longer preventing job losses, but of slowing down necessary structural changes.
In Austria there are currently 219,000 people on short-time work, 449,000 without a job.
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