Analyses of the Social Situation in Austria. Status Quo and Outlook in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The social impact of the current economic crisis affects the population quite differently. This paper provides an initial assessment of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis both on the income situation of private households and on how different groups are affected by the crisis. The fiscal effects analysed at the beginning show a dramatic collapse in government revenues and a general government fiscal balance of –10½ percent of GDP. The disposable household equivalent income developed very heterogeneously according to groups of persons, with unemployed households recording significant income losses in the first half of 2020. The third chapter is dedicated to particularly affected groups (apprentices, persons on short-time work, unemployed, self-employed). Entry into employment via apprenticeship training is possible for significantly fewer young people in 2020, the crisis-related decline in apprenticeship numbers (in the first apprenticeship year) amounts to 4.3 percent. The overall unprecedented increase in unemployment could be slowed down through the use of COVID-19 short-time work. The share of those registered for short-time work peaked in mid-May 2020, at 35.2 percent measured against the active workforce of 36.7 percent in May of the previous year. Only 41 percent (97,000) of those who became unemployed during the lockdown left for employment by the end of June 2020. Self-employed persons, and here especially one-person businesses, are also disproportionately affected by the crisis.