by Wolf Richter, Testosterone Pit.com:
Labor is expensive in Austria, and heavily unionized with strict work rules governing what workers can and can’t do, and with long mandated vacations, and all sorts of other welfare-state goodies, and yet the unemployment rate of 4.7% is the lowest in the Eurozone, and one of the lower rates around the world. Austria is a small industrial powerhouse, dependent on its largest export partner, Germany, to which it is, economically, joined at the hip.
Nevertheless, there are issues: shaky TBTF banks exposed to Eastern European “growth opportunities,” such as Hungary; Alpine Bau, a construction group with 15,000 employees that just went bust; Germany whose economy is stagnating; and now offshoring by the steel industry.
The voestalpine Group, a steelmaker based in Linz, Austria, with over 46,000 employees, saw its revenues for 2012/13 decline by 4% to $15 billion.
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