Integration report

Immigration shakes up schools and the labor market

09.07.2024 17:00

The Integration Report 2024 once again brings many interesting figures to light. Every fifth person in Austria was born abroad. Many of them move to the federal capital. The challenges are enormous. 

On the occasion of the current report, the federal government and Vienna in particular are once again covering themselves with all kinds of accusations. If you take a look at the current figures, it becomes clear that Vienna is facing major challenges in many areas, not least because the SPÖ and Neos parties recently called for compulsory residence for people entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection.

But where are the current major construction sites in relation to immigration and integration in Vienna? We took a closer look at the more than 100-page report and the statistical yearbook, which is even thicker. Some figures should set alarm bells ringing.

  • Distribution: The number of people born abroad in Austria was around 1.8 million at the start of 2024. That is 19.7 percent of the total population. Germans are by far the largest group of foreign nationals. Immigrants' preferred destination - the German capital. Just under 40 percent of all people with a foreign place of birth live in Vienna; the figure for Austria as a whole is significantly lower: 17 percent.
  • Relocations: One challenge for the integration of persons entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection is their geographical concentration in Vienna. Around 46% of newcomers who did not originally live in Vienna have moved to the capital since 2022.
(Bild: Krone KREATIV/Adobe Stock)
  • Higher unemployment: This has an impact on many other areas, such as the labor market. Vienna has a high unemployment rate among foreign nationals. It stands at 15.5 percent. This is almost twice as high as in the other federal states.
  • The education system is failing: One indicator of integration is the number of exceptional pupils. These children and young people have little or no knowledge of German. Here too, the proportion in Vienna (6.9 percent) is significantly higher than in other federal states.
  • High social costs: Persons entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection already accounted for 44% of all social welfare recipients in 2023. In Tyrol, the figure is 43 percent. Both federal states voluntarily pay people entitled to subsidiary protection the higher minimum benefit instead of basic welfare support. In Vienna, Syrian nationals were the most frequent recipients of social assistance in 2023 at 73.7%, followed by Somali, Afghan and Iraqi nationals on an annual average. 

How can this succeed?
The authors of the Integration Report 2024 state that German language skills play a key role in the integration of migrants into the labor market. People with good German language skills have significantly higher employment rates. It is noted that despite the development towards a labor market, there are still considerable differences in labor market integration between different migrant groups. Refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection in particular often have lower levels of education and therefore need more time to learn German, which delays their integration into the labor market. Another finding is that rapid integration into the labor market is in the interests of both migrants and employers in order to meet the demand for workers in many sectors of the economy.

And at school?
In education, the report shows that pupils with a migrant background perform worse on average than their native peers. A major factor in these differences in performance is the lack of German language skills. Despite various support measures, such as German support classes and integrative German support, there are still significant deficits. 

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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