Is it hard to get a job in Austria in 2021?

The coronavirus crisis hit job markets all around the world and Austrian labour market is not an exception. The situation became again significantly worse in December of 2020. Almost half a million people in Austria are currently unemployed. That is more than 100,000 more than a year ago. However, the situation is still much better than in other EU countries and you will learn which jobs are currently in demand and you will get some practical tips how to land job in this situation.

The young people are especially affected by these negative effects on the job market and unemployment rate within this population is the highest. They are especially hit because they are working in industries which are most negatively affected such as gastronomy, tourism and hotel industry as well as other service oriented industries.

Many students are not able to find an internship and many lost their part time jobs, graduates are finding jobs much slowly and some juniors were terminated. The unemployment rate among those who are younger than 25 years increased by 30% in Vienna and by 23% in Austria in comparison to the last year. However, the Austrian unemployment rate of 10,6% among young people is still significantly better than in most of other EU countries (Spain 44%, Greece 40%).

These jobs are especially demanded in Austria

The labor market situation in Austria is roughly comparable to that in Germany. Many craftsmen are desperately looking for new recruits, but the need for staff is also high in the health sector. In case you are a bricklayer, carpenter, geriatric nurse, nurse, carer, car mechanic, mechatronics technician, restaurant specialist, cook etc., your chances of finding a good job in Austria should be very good. Here you can check the full list of Shortage professions in Austria in 2020.

Health sector

Not only medical professionals from various disciplines, but also physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, nurses, geriatric nurses, obstetricians (midwives), medical technicians, nursing assistants, etc. are wanted in Austria and have good job prospects here. Experts estimate that around 40,000 new jobs will be created in the healthcare sector by 2021. These should of course also be filled.


The need for engineers in a wide variety of disciplines naturally varies. The shortage of skilled workers is also noticeable in the Alpine republic. It is assumed that there is a shortage of around 30,000 skilled workers. For example, engineers in the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics, IT, medical technology and civil engineers are in demand.

IT sector

Digitization continues to advance. It is assumed that there is currently a shortage of around 1 million IT specialists across Europe, which of course also has an impact on Austria. Software developers, data specialists, programmers, electrical engineers and mechatronics technicians are wanted on a large scale here. But specialists are also in great demand in other areas of IT.


For craftsmen such as bricklayers, joiners, locksmiths, car mechanics, carpenters, foremen, plumbers, window fitters, etc., the professional prospects in Austria are not bad. On the other hand, unskilled workers will be less in demand, because these activities are increasingly being carried out fully automatically or are being completely saved.

What is Short-time work (Kurzarbeit) program in Austria?

This is the program which Austrian authorities established in order to prevent you from losing your job and becoming unemployed and supporting employers as well.

Your working hours will be reduced and you will keep your job. You will continue to receive between 80 and 90 percent of your previous income from your employer every month. In return, he or she receives a grant from the AMS, with which the employer is compensated for your lost working hours.

So that you do not have to be dismissed and your company and the economy as a whole can cope with the Corona crisis, the social partners consisting of the Chamber of Labor, trade unions and the Chamber of Commerce have negotiated a special model: Your working hours can be reduced to up to zero hours, among other things.

To do this, you have:

  • Protection against dismissal during short-time work and up to one month afterwards.
  • Corona short-time work is also possible in companies without a works council.
  • Short-time work also applies when the company is completely closed.

Learn more about unemployment benefits in Austria.

Useful tips for finding job in current situation

Take a look at alternative industries

The previous job is gone – what now? “Just don’t panic,” recommends Jutta Boenig, chairwoman of the board of the German Society for Career Advice DGfK. Because as bitter as the job loss is – at some point new perspectives would open up again.

Applicants should be patient and think about what exactly they can offer a company in terms of skills when things look better again. This also includes considering whether there are also alternative industries where you want to go. “For example, people are desperately looking for people in medical technology, the pharmaceutical industry and the logistics sector,” says Boenig.

Since the companies react to existing contact restrictions, the application may not run as usual. Many companies have put their classic recruiting processes on hold in the face of Corona. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t hire any more.

Job interviews via video interview

Instead of the traditional job interviews with handshakes and direct contact, video interviews are now more and more popular. For applicants, this means that they check at home whether they have the technical requirements for such video interviews. In the next step, job seekers to think early about where a video interview could take place – and what specifically the other side should perceive in the background.

Also important when looking for a job: keep your own profile up to date on career platforms such as Xing or LinkedIn.

Postpone voluntary job changes

Anyone who thought about changing jobs before the crisis is now faced with the question of whether it is actually advisable at the moment. Boenig currently advises against a change. “It is better to first keep your feet still and think about what you can change positively at your previous workplace so that you feel comfortable there.”

Employees willing to change must also keep an eye on how their current employer is doing economically during the crisis, says von Rundstedt. If there are signs of job cuts, it makes perfect sense to keep looking for a new job.

Networking at a distance

Anyone looking for a job should continue to rely on personal networks. “Going to events and meeting others there who have a hot tip for a great job is not currently possible,” says von Rundstedt. Instead, employees can maintain their contacts and call or email others. “Don’t complain, but inquire about it. how the other is doing and where support may be needed, ”explains von Rundstedt.

And who sent an application for a dream job before the crisis and is now eagerly waiting for an answer? “Just pick up the phone and ask the company about the current state of affairs,” says Boenig. This is anything but inappropriate in these times.

Applying without work experience takes patience

Don’t sit down and moan – this motto now also applies to young professionals. They too have to have a lot of staying power and expect that it may take some time before they are accepted for an apprenticeship or first job.

“Young, talented people are being sought and will sooner or later be hired,” says von Rundstedt. She advises young professionals to take a look around and find out more. And maybe even to speak unofficially to people who work for a company for which you want to work yourself.

Sometimes it can also help if newcomers to the profession are willing to cut their income for a temporary period of time. Von Rundstedt believes that that should depend on the company in question: “If it is exactly the company and the area that you absolutely want to go, then that can be an option.”

Use the Current Situation to your Advantage

Many organisations who have been worst hit by the pandemic are now diversifying into providing additional products and services. Follow their lead and adapt: tailor your CV and cover letter to show why you are the best candidate in the current situation. How have you persevered and triumphed with a seemingly impossible task? Have you helped businesses to diversify, strategise or cut costs during an economic recession, or did you get creative quickly to solve a business-critical problem? Use your previous success in difficult circumstances to show not just your long-term value to the business you want to join, but your value to the business right now.

Read more: Austrian CV Guide.

The average hiring manager only takes 9 seconds to scan your resume before deciding whether to pursue your application. Grab the attention of your reader as soon as possible and hold it by promoting the skills and experience of yours that are most relevant to the job. Follow these tips to make your CV stand out:

Start with an impressive headline – Begin your CV with a two-sentence summary outlining your best qualities and achievements

Show your relevance – When outlining your work history and competences, include the experience/skills that are the most applicable to the job you are applying for at the top of the list

Don’t forget structure – Checking grammar, spelling and formatting sounds obvious, but it’s easy to miss a small inconsistency: ask a trusted friend or connection to proofread for you. Keep your CV minimalist in design and stick to a three-page limit to ensure the document is as easy and engaging to read as possible.

Overall, we can conclude that finding job in Austria in 2021 will be really challenging in most of professions and it will require a lot of effort and patience. However, the situation in Austria is still much better than in other EU countries and in Austria you can always count on state’s program called short-time work (Kurzarbeit) and in worst case scenario you will receive state allowance for unemployed (Arbeitslosengeld) which will help you to pay your essential bills during your unemployment.


Author: Sofia Ivanov is a blogger at She holds a MA in international business and also contributes photography to

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