In July 2022, the number of Hungarian workers in Austria has set a new record, with more than 114,000 registered people. However, the number of foreign workers in the country has oddly fallen.
In the last month in Austria, they recorded a minor decrease in overall foreign workers (121 less than a month before). This month, fewer workers came from Central- and Eastern-European countries such as Poland, Serbia and Turkey, with Romania showing the greatest decrease (2,362 fewer people than last month). On the other hand, the number of Hungarian and Ukrainian workers kept rising, with about 1,000 each since June. In the last year, the number of Hungarians working in Austria grew by 7,894. While most of the workers from Balkan, Central- and Eastern-European countries are slowly leaving the Austrian labour market, both Asia and Africa showed an increasing number of foreign workforce. This might be the start of the progress of these two emerging continents driving out the current foreign workforce.
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Effect of the pandemic on foreigners working in Austria
If we look at recent trends regarding the Hungarian workforce, we can see that at the start of the epidemic the numbers dropped rapidly. It could be due to the fact that the majority of Hungarians are seasonal workers, hired by ski resorts, restaurants and hotels. These facilities were forced to temporarily close down during the pandemic. This also explains why the usually busy summer and winter months, the peaks of tourism in Austria, were somewhat less saturated. The next wave of the virus will affect the labour market again.
The effects will depend on the intensity and the measures taken by the Austrian government. The next measures are expected during autumn, in connection with the start of the winter semester in schools and universities. In Austria, the restrictions are quite severe, for example, hospital visits are only allowed with negative PCR tests. A new increase in the number of infected might lead to actions that affect the hospitality industry. That would limit the jobs available for foreign seasonal workers, but widespread vaccination can lessen this threat.
Excluding the commuter workers, 94,000 (including workers, students, and retirees) Hungarian citizens live in Austria, writes ORF. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has been conducting a series of research to find the reason behind this phenomenon, using surveys to figure out the motive of people who decide to move abroad.
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