AUSTRIAN SOCIAL PARTNERS' ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS EMPLOYMENT POLICY The studies produeed by the Austrian Soeial Partners' Advisory Couneil for Eeonomic and Social AfTairs contain opinions and reeommendations for eco- nomic poliey whieh have been agreed upon by the four major Austrian sodal partners (the Federal Eeonomic Chamber, the Federal Chamber of Labour, the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions and the Standing Committee of the Presidents ofthe Austrian Chambers of Agriculture). The following text represents a translation of the introduetion and reeom- mendations from the Advisory Council's enclosed study "Employment Poliey" (Besehl1ftigungspolitik). The translation was provided by Martha Sehodl. CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION AND RECOMMENDA TIONS 1. Introductlon - The Economlc Environment 1.1. Introductory Remarlcs In the last deeade the labour market has beeome one ofthe eentral problems ofthe economic and social poliey. Due to rationalization measures and reloca- tion of production facilities the number of jobs in industry has greatly de- creased and despite massive early retirements the unemployment rate has doubled sinee the beginning of the eighties. The labour market has eome under pressure from various sides: - Sinee the seventies the long-term eeonomie growth has deereased by about fifty pereent. Therefore the labour demand of the enterprises has declined eonsiderably. Yet, in eontrast to the slogan of'~jobless growth" employment has not at all decoupled from economie growth. - The international division of labour and the teehnological development forced industry to take rationalization measures. With increasing inte- gration this trend spread also to other sectors (e.g. banks). The interna- tional division of labour has three aspeets in particular: globalization, EU-integration and opening ofthe Eastern countries. A third, though less eentral labour market faetor, is the steady inerease in labour supply. In the last deeade more women sought employment and addi- tional foreign workers, also a eonsequenee of the opening of the Eastem eountries, were integrated into the labour market. Aeeording to present esti- mates the labour supply will continue to inerease over the next twenty years ll