The Austrian Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice Österreich, AMS) is Austria’s leading provider of labour-market related services. The AMS matches candidates with job openings and assists jobseekers and companies who turn to the Service by offering advice, information, qualification opportunities and financial assistance. Within the framework of the Federal Government’s policy of full employment, the AMS renders a major contribution to preventing and eradicating unemployment in Austria.
The Public Employment Service AMS is structured into 1 federal and 9 regional organisations as well as 98 local organisations. There are also 6 branch offices and 70 careers information centres. Representatives of employers’ and labour organisations (i.e. of the Economic Chamber, the Federal Chamber of Labour, the Austrian Trade Union Federation and the Federation of Austrian Industry) are involved at all levels and make a considerable contribution to forming labour market policy and organizational controlling in the board of governors, the provincial directorates and regional advisory councils.
The AMS is responsible for counselling, placement, and unemployment insurance benefits (e.g. unemployment benefit) for persons residing and staying in Austria.
The services of the AMS are not for the unemployed only. Persons who have a job but want a change of occupation can also turn to the Employment Service, which offers recruitment and placement services for employers as well. Jobseekers and unemployed persons can register at their regional office as jobseekers.
The AMS provides the following services:
The eJob-Room provides an overview of all vacancies reported to the AMS in Austria. You can search for a specific job by selecting the desired employment relationship, place of work, date of commencement of work, and occupational group/occupational title, and it is available to both registered and unregistered users: https://jobroom.ams.or.at/jobroom/login_as.jsp.
- AMS Jobrobot
The AMS Jobrobot enables you to search for job offers on company websites on the Internet. It functions like a search engine that searches for vacancies on the websites of Austrian companies using specially developed criteria: https://jobroom.ams.or.at/jobroboter/jbr_entry.jsf.
- AMS JOB APP
The free AMS JOB APP delivers all job offers from the AMS eJob-Room directly to the smartphone. You can search for jobs or apprenticeships and be informed about suitable new jobs with push notifications: https://www.ams.at/arbeitsuchende/arbeitslos-was-tun/jobsuche-online-und-mobil.
- Application tips
Interactive application training, application coaching on the Internet (step-by-step support in writing application documents), tips and tricks about finding a job: https://bewerbungsportal.ams.or.at/bewerbungsportal/.
- Benefits for jobseekers
All you need to know about receiving unemployment benefit and unemployment assistance, get information about the obligations of benefit recipients towards the AMS, etc.: https://www.ams.at/arbeitsuchende/arbeitslos-was-tun/geld-vom-ams/arbeitslosengeld.
- Professional dictionary
Provides information on occupations (job characteristics, job requirements, training, promotion, employment opportunities, etc.). Search for apprenticeships, occupations after graduating from university, occupations after graduating from vocational schools, training and auxiliary occupations, short and special training: www.berufslexikon.at.
- Qualification barometer
Provides information on qualification trends and the latest developments on the labour market: bis.ams.or.at/qualibarometer.
- Continuing education database
Supports the search for suitable continuing education and contains information about course sponsors as well as course providers and the necessary prerequisites: wbdb.ams.or.at/wbdb.
It is a platform for young people who want to exchange tips and tricks for choosing a profession, study, or school: www.arbeitszimmer.cc.
- Career Choice Helper (AMS Berufskompass, AMS Jugendkompass, AMS Gründungstest, AMS Berufskompass – Neuorientierung)
Questionnaire about career choice which creates an interest profile after it has been filled in online: www.berufskompass.at.
- Job Info Centres (BerufsInfoZentren, BIZ)
At various locations in Austria, BIZ offer information on career and training opportunities, job opportunities, and tips and tricks for choosing a profession. Brochures and professional videos are available, personal advice can be obtained free of charge: www.ams.at/berufsinfo-weiterbildung.
- AMS research network
Information system on networks on topics relevant to the labour market—publications and studies can be downloaded: www.ams-forschungsnetzwerk.at.
Unemployment insurance benefits
AMS is responsible for unemployment insurance benefits (e.g. unemployment benefit, unemployment assistance).
You may be entitled to unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld) if you lose your job or become unemployed.
You may claim unemployment assistance (Notstandshilfe) if you have exhausted your entitlement to unemployment benefit and you remain in a situation of need.
If a person is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits, he or she must sign on at the AMS on the first day of his or her unemployment at the latest. Furthermore, he or she must meet fixed deadlines in order to enjoy such benefits. It is necessary to appear in person and fill in several forms at the competent AMS regional branch office. Job seekers are assigned personal advisors there who discuss further procedure with them concerning their job search.
- Unemployment benefit
The aim of unemployment benefit is to secure your livelihood while you are looking for work. To be entitled to an unemployment benefit, you must be unemployed, able and willing to work (to accept suitable employment), be at the disposal of the job office and may not have exhausted your entitlement.
Moreover, you must have completed a minimum period of insurance. This applies in case you have been covered by unemployment insurance for at least 52 weeks during the last 24 months, or 26 weeks within the last 12 months if you are below the age of 25 years.
Persons with earnings above the marginal earnings threshold (Geringfügigkeitsgrenze) of EUR 460.66 per month (in 2020) are covered by unemployment insurance.
There is no possibility of voluntary insurance for employees. However, since 1 January 2009, self-employed persons may join the unemployment insurance system on a voluntary basis.
Unemployment benefit is calculated individually on the basis of average earnings of the second last (in case of application by 30 June) or last (in case of application from 1 July onwards) complete calendar year. Special payments (13th and 14th salary) are taken proportionally into account. The basic amount is 55% of daily net income (up to 80% in case of entitlement to family supplements). Minimum and maximum values of the daily rates result de facto from the marginal earnings threshold and the maximum assessment base.
The duration of unemployment benefit depends on the period of insurance and your age. It is paid for at least 20 weeks.
- Unemployment assistance
You may be entitled to unemployment assistance after you exhaust your entitlement to unemployment benefit if your disposable income is not sufficient to provide for your essential needs.
Unemployment assistance amounts to 92% of your most recent unemployment benefit payment. If the unemployment benefit (without family supplements) is below the compensatory supplement reference level for single persons, unemployment allowance amounts to 95% of unemployment benefit.
Unemployment assistance is granted for an unlimited period of time, but only for one year at a time.
Cooperation with AMS
It is important to cooperate with the AMS and to seize job chances that are offered. This includes writing applications and attending job interviews. The AMS will try to provide the best possible support. Nevertheless, one’s own initiative is the most important factor in order to find a job.
When you become unemployed, you have to register with the AMS and claim unemployment benefit. While you are receiving the benefit, you are required to report to the AMS at the agreed times to discuss your search for employment with your case officer.
If you refuse or obstruct an offer of work or a chance to acquire a vocational training qualification, sanctions will be imposed in the form of your entitlement to unemployment benefit being suspended for at least six weeks. This means that your period of entitlement to unemployment benefit will be reduced.
You must also immediately inform the AMS, without being asked, of any changes in your personal circumstances or those of your family members which may affect your entitlement to a benefit. These include taking up employment or other changes in your income situation.
The principles underlying the cooperation with AMS can be found here: https://www.ams.at/content/dam/download/allgemeine-informationen/001_agbsfa.pdf.
List of the sources used:
The Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS): www.ams.at
Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), EURES National Coordination Office (NCO). 2020. Living and Working in Austria. The European Job Network: https://www.ams.at/content/dam/download/flyer-folder-broschueren/oesterreichweit/eures/001_living-working-in-austria.pdf
European Commission, the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Austria – Unemployment benefit: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1101&langId=en&intPageId=4410
Oesterreich.gv.at – Service for Foreign Citizens. Registration as Unemployed at the Public Employment Service Austria: https://www.help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/content/171/Seite.17702021.html