On the labour market, employers look for suitable workers while workers look for vacancies.
In order for the labour market to function well, the intervention of politics is a decisive factor. In Austria, a system of cooperation between politicians and the so-called social partners has developed which is often seen as an example of how a less confrontational approach can succeed. Workable compromises lead to productive labour market and social legislation and ensure functioning cooperation in the world of work.
The Austrian Short-Time-Work-Scheme presents a recent example for this cooperational approach, as the scheme is frequently re-negotiated between the government and the social partners.
The Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS), a public sector company with its own legal identity, is responsible for carrying out labour market policy.
The core task of the AMS is to place jobseekers as efficiently as possible in vacancies on the regular labour market. The Public Employment Service focuses its activities on effectively reducing unemployment. In doing so, it works together with both the unemployed and companies to ensure the quickest and most suitable placement possible.
International labour and social standards are formulated and asserted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a special organisation of the United Nations.
The concepts and requirements of the European Union also form part of the framework for Austrian labour market policy.
Main focuses and measures
In accordance with the Public Employment Service Act (Section 59 para. 2), the Minister of Labour and Economy is obliged to issue labour market policy targets to the Public Employment Service. The current targets for 2019 include subsidies in relation to equal opportunities for women, young people, older people, migrants and people with health-related limitations.
The Federal Minister of Labour and Economy also commissions the AMS with concrete labour market policy initiatives and programmes within the framework of targets.