Indicator expressing the number of economically active persons (Berufstätige or Erwerbspersonen), i.e. the labour force comprising all those in gainful employment (Erwerbstätige) either as employees or self-employed plus unemployed persons who are available for employment, as a percentage of the total population of working age (15-65 for men and 15-60 for women). The actual retirement age is around 58, with little difference between men and women, and according to the Constitutional Court equalization of pensionable age is to be achieved by early next century. For a long time Austria was one of the industrialized countries with a low activity rate; this was due first to the traditionally low labour force participation of women and second to a low pensionable age. Although in recent decades women's participation in the labour force has increased markedly, there are still significant differences: the age-specific activity rate for the 55-64 age group is 43% for men and 19% for women. Both rates are 10 percentage points higher in Germany, while in Japan and Switzerland the rate is twice as high for men and several times higher for women. However, Austria's overall activity rate is nowadays (1997) above both the EU average and the rate for Germany: 70.9% as against 67.5% and 70.6% respectively. See also employment rate.))

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.