For the economist, qualifications and wage subsidies for the unemployed are also important. All of these measures are complementary to each other. In order to avoid deadweight effects from companies in the case of degressive unemployment benefits with a higher initial payment and later lowering, workers would have to be employed continuously for a certain period of time, said the Eco-Austria boss. Seasonal workers from construction and tourism might then not be entitled to the higher model.
Köppl-Turyna is critical of the possibility of earning an unlimited amount of money in addition to unemployment benefits. Unlimited additional earnings up to the marginal earnings limit of currently EUR 475.86 per month are currently possible with unemployment benefits and emergency assistance. After three months of unemployment, for example, the possibility of additional income could drop to 200 euros and after six months additional income could no longer be allowed, according to a proposal by the economist. There is no massive stepping stone into the job market for the unemployed through marginal work.
The economist has a positive view of the plans to increase the placement opportunities at the AMS through automation. This allows the labor market service to use its resources more efficiently. The controversial AMS algorithm for determining job market opportunities for the unemployed is not in use because the data protection authority has brought the case to the administrative court.
In order to fill the up to 200,000 vacancies in Austria more easily, according to the Eco-Austria boss, among other things, the number of childcare places in Austria will be expanded significantly. “Childcare is an essential tool of labor market policy.” In times of a shortage of skilled workers, companies would find it increasingly difficult if women were not better integrated into the labor market and older people were no longer in employment, said the economist.
Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) started a “reform dialogue” on unemployment insurance in autumn and spoke to the social partners, AMS board members, economic researchers, entrepreneurs and people affected by unemployment, among others. He also visited Sweden, Lithuania and the USA. Kocher intends to present the first interim results on the reform in December, and a legislative proposal will then follow in the first quarter of 2022. (APA)