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Business Facts Austria - Living and working in Austria

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The labour market

In 2017, 4.2 million Austrians were in employment, corresponding to 72.2% of the population. The unemployment rate is 8.5%. Small and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverage sectors, mechanical and steel construction, the chemical and automotive industries and electrical sector play a major role in the economy. Professionals are particularly in demand: teachers, nurses, engineers, employees in the catering industry and IT specialists.

Working in Austria

Any EU citizen can stay in Austria without a visa for three months. However, if you wish to live and work there beyond this period, you must contact the residence authority and provide a new address before the end of this period. Those who fail to do so face fines. Anyone who has their main residence in Austria for ten years may apply for Austrian citizenship.

Those who have their main residence in Austria are liable to tax. You can obtain a payroll tax card from the relevant tax office. In addition, there is an obligation to enroll in the statutory health insurance scheme. As an employee, a portion of your health insurance contributions are paid by your employer.

The national language is German. However, Hungarian, Slovenian and Croatian are all official languages. That is why immigrants from these countries have a very good chance of finding jobs in the professions that are in demand.

Working hours and holiday entitlement

In Austria, the average working week is 40 hours long, with most people working eight hours a day. Collective bargaining agreements can reduce the working week to 38 hours. As far as daily working hours are concerned, a collective agreement can make provisions for a longer working day (9-10 hours) so that a longer period of continuous leisure time is possible.

In Austria, employees are entitled to five weeks of paid leave per year. For a 5-day week it is 25 days, for a 6-day week it is 30 days. If an employee has been working for 26 years, he is entitled to 6 weeks of paid leave, but you don´t need to have worked the full period with just one employer.


There are 13 public holidays in Austria. These include: 1 January (New Year’s Day), 6 January (Epiphany), Easter Monday, 1 May (national holiday), Ascension, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, 15 August (Assumption), 26 October (National Day), 1 November (All Saints' Day), 8 December (Feast of the Immaculate Conception), 25 December (Christmas Day) and 26 December (Boxing Day). Good Friday is a holiday for members of the Protestant Church and the Old Catholic Church.

Living in Austria

Housing costs, i.e. rental costs, vary enormously in Austria. While the average housing costs in rural regions are 5.10€/m², in Salzburg you will pay around 8.40 €/m². In general, the rental price depends on several factors, such as transport connections, the desirability of the area and its infrastructure. On top of the rent, costs for heating, electricity and gas as well as running costs are added. Most people in Austrian cities live in rented accommodation.

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