Green jobs in Austria

Green jobs are jobs in the environment sector. In Austria, every 20th job is a green job, with roughly 11% of the nation’s GDP being generated in this sector.

Transport bike
On the way with a transport bike, photo: BMLRT / Christian Fuchs

Definition of green jobs

The EU defines green jobs as those that, irrespective of which sector they are in- be it manufacturing, technology, or services- minimize environmental damage and preserve natural resources. Green jobs exist in many different areas, for instance in renewable energies, sustainable construction and renovation, as well as in water and wastewater management, and include both highly skilled and unskilled labour, in addition to apprenticeships.

The main purpose of green jobs is to make a contribution to environmental protection. This is why green jobs are present in all economic and social areas, and also why existing job types can become green jobs.

How many green jobs are there in Austria?

According to Statistics Austria there were 193,029 green jobs in 2011. Of these:

  • 171,245 were in the manufacturing and service sectors
  • 21,784 were in the trade of environmental assets and technologies.

Dynamic development of green jobs

Between 2008 and 2011 the environmental industry showed a clearly positive trend. While the economy at large only saw an increase in employment by 0.4%, employment in the environment sector registered notable growth, with a growth of 2.1%. During the same period the turnover in the environment sector rose by a remarkable 5.1%, thus reaching 32.6 billion euro.

Renewable energies in job creation

The most important segment of the environmental industry is the management of energy resources: With 37.1% of the persons working in the field of the environment, the sector yielded 49.9% of the environmental turnover in 2011 and comprises a large range of activities. Renewable energy sources alone achieved a turnover plus of 10.9% between 2008 and 2011 and a rise in job numbers by 8.2%.