Corona crisis still has a firm grip on the economy and the labor market | Tyrolean daily newspaper online
Wirtschaftsministerin Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP), Finanzminister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) und Arbeitsminister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) bei einer Pressekonferenz am Dienstag.
© HELMUT FOHRINGER
Vienna – The Corona crisis has the domestic economy and the labor market firmly under control. There are slightly positive signals due to the opening up of the unemployment figures and the development of the gross domestic product. However, the number of short-time working continues to rise. 441,482 people are currently unemployed, 8500 fewer than a week ago, and 71,416 are in AMS training, which is 1,500 more. On balance, 7,000 fewer people are jobless than in the previous week.
Private consumption picked up somewhat
The end of the lockdown in retail and with body-hugging service providers on February 8th gave the domestic economy a little more momentum. The weekly development of the gross domestic product (GDP) measured by the economic research institute (Wifo) shows a decline in economic output (GDP) of 9 percent compared to the previous week for calendar week 6. In the previous week, this weekly Wifo economic index (WWWI) was even worse at more than minus 13 percent below the same period of the previous year.
After the partial end of the lockdown, “private consumption jumped a little”, said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) at a joint press conference with Labor Minister Martin Kocher and Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck (both ÖVP) on Tuesday in Vienna. As a result of the opening of shops, retail sales have risen by almost 6 percent compared to the last hard lockdown week, and private consumption – also due to the opening of private services such as hairdressers – has increased by almost 4.5 percentage points. “From an economic point of view, the openings have the desired positive effect,” said the finance minister.
📽️ Video | Statement by Finance Minister Gernot Blümel:
Blümel announced that the cancellation bonus introduced last week had received around 16,700 applications from companies with an applied funding volume of 82 million euros. The first funds should be paid out this week. Due to the coronavirus, restaurants, hotels and cultural and sports facilities are currently closed.
The slight trend towards relaxation on the labor market continues
In mid-January there were the highest number of unemployed this winter with 533,000 people without a job. “The slight trend towards relaxation on the labor market continues,” said Labor Minister Kocher. The current decline in unemployment is due to the partial opening and the seasonal improvement in construction and construction related trades, said Kocher.
📽️ Video | Statement by Labor Minister Martin Kocher:
Around 485,000 people are currently on short-time work, 20,000 more than in the previous week. These are advance registrations for short-time work, explained the Minister of Labor, and you have to wait for the accounting. The figures show that the qualification offers are being used. Short-time working is still being used intensively, especially in the sectors affected by the lockdown, and is thus the most important crisis instrument.
At the end of January there were also around 140,000 long-term unemployed in Austria. Kocher explained that variants for long-term unemployment programs are currently being analyzed. In the 20,000 campaign in 2017, not enough people would have got a regular job after the publicly funded job. The SPÖ yesterday called for 40,000 publicly funded jobs in municipalities, non-profit organizations and social enterprises.
Schramböck pleased with the decline in insolvencies
Economics Minister Schramböck was delighted with the decline in insolvencies by more than a third in 2020. “It clearly shows that the relief measures are working,” said Schramböck. The obligation to file for bankruptcy is currently suspended. If over-indebtedness occurred in the period from March 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, the debtor does not have to file an application to open insolvency proceedings. The tax deferrals run until the end of June.
“According to initial estimates, without these measures, the bankruptcies in the past year would have been more than five times as high as in a” normal year, “said the Minister of Economic Affairs. In the long term, loan guarantees, fixed cost subsidies and short-time work would reduce bankruptcies. (APA)
📽️ Video | Statement by Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck: