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      Distortion of unemployed statistics: Austrian work agency AMS lowers the number of long term unemployed to below one tenth

      Active Unemployed Austria demand correct numbers of the increase in unemployment and underemployment in Austria

      (Vienna, March 3 rd 2014) As from the year 2000, the coalition government of the conservative and the freedom parties has sent the unemployed systematically to courses of the Austrian work agency AMS ("Arbeitsmarktservice" - "Labour Market Service") to cover up the steadily rising number of long-term unemployed, as they will no longer show in the Number of “Long-Term-Unemployed” if they attend a course within a period of 6 months. Only in 2004 has the AMS introduced a more realistic measure mainly for internal use by creating the number of “Long-Term-Without-Earnings”, where course attendees are no longer excluded from statistics.

      The coalition government of the socialist and conservative parties under Chancellor Werner Faymann and Minister for Social Affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer have shamelessly continued the politics of lies, as an analysis of the Active Unemployed Austria shows. Thanks to an average of 42,645 unemployed parked in courses, the government has in 2004 beautified the number of Long-Term-Unemployed from 49,570 to 20,405, effectively lowering by 68%; in 2013 the number of Long-Term-Without-Earnings was even reduced to 6,795 thanks to unemployed parked in courses (total 73,516 course attendees). The AMS reduced the number of Long-Term-Without-Earnings by whopping 88%.

       

      Vienna is different – Upper Austria already a while

      Hiding of Long-Term-Unemployed is especially severe in Vienna, where also a remarkably high proportion of Long-Term-Without-Earnings of 29% were present (Federal average 17%, Tirol 4%). The AMS Vienna had increased the rate of distortion from 58% (2004) to even 99% (2013), so that the presented Long-Term-Unemployment rate was only 1% of the more realistic Long-Term-Without-Earnings. Almost every unemployed was hidden in a compulsory measure. Furthermore, the AMS Vienna has reduced the number of Long-Term-Without-Earnings, which rose steadily in all other counties, presumably through the increased use of “Social Personnel Leasing Companies” from in average 27,647 (2007) to 24,665 (2013) or from 28.7% to 20.4% of the overall unemployed.

      However, “Early Leader” in the distortion of statistics is Upper Austria, where as early as 2004 the number of Long-Term-Unemployed was beautified by 95% through AMS compulsory measures, which rose to a maximum of 98% in 2007 and then fell slightly to 96% in 2013.

      A study of the German Ministry of social Affairs confirms distortion of statistics at the order of politics

      What we have known from our consultation service is that unemployed are referred to AMS compulsory measures shortly before transfer to the stage of Long-Term-Without-Earnings mainly for statistical reasons – the date of transfer Is even marked on the course referral notices of the AMS! – this is now confirmed by a study commissioned by the German Ministry of social affairs: The “achievement of targets” can be reached by referral to “unsuitable” or “redundant” courses, the targets given by the Minister of Social Affairs or the AMS Austria suggest to “refer unemployed to a qualifying measure shortly prior to reaching the date of Long-Term-Without-Earnings”.

      The systematic misappropriation of insurance and tax money for distortion of statistics is only possible through the rigid regime of sanctions. Because of the constant threat to withdraw the foundation of existence by complete cut of the AMS-benefits, mainly Long-Term-Unemployed live in such fear that they do not dare to resist against the much criticised “nonsense-courses”.

      No distortion of statistics without a regime of sanctions through human rights violating withdrawals of benefits

      The much praised “community of insurers” is being damaged multiple times: Not only through the waste of contributions, but also through damaged health by the regime of sanctions. When 36% of the unemployed fear the contact with the AMS because of massive structural force through threatened sanctions and 29% experience complaints when attending a course which they did not select themselves (*), then it is not possible to speak of “re-integration” through the AMS. The simplest and most effective measure against the distortion of statistics through “nonsense-courses” would be the free selection of courses and the democratic collaboration of the unemployed. This would, at the same time, force course providers close to party or social partners to finally provide good quality and real support. Honest numbers instead of suppressing of problems would be a first step in the right direction.

      Active Unemployed Austria demand:

      • End to misinformation of the society through knowingly misguiding numbers like the beautified “Long-Term-Unemployed ratios “
      • Assessment of all unemployed – also of the concealed and the “hidden reserve” – and all underemployed to gain a realistic picture of the access to paid labour.
      • End to the regime of sanctions – Human right to free choice of work and free choice of (professional) education as well as implementation of a guarantee of existence!

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