A report on the income of the Austrian population reveals that (with the exception of civil servants) employees earned less in 2004 than in 2000. Gender-specific pay differentials remain considerable. They have even increased among blue-collar workers, where women were mostly affected by the loss of pay.
The report on the income of Austria’s 3.7 million employees, carried out by the Court of Audit (Rechnungshof, RH) in 2004, finds that only civil servants earn more than four years ago. The wages of male civil servants after deduction of income tax and social insurance contribution increased by 8.3%, whereas women in the public sector earn only 0.3% more as compared to 2000.
Both blue- and white-collar workers experienced income losses in real terms and also after deduction of income tax and social insurance contribution since 2000. The median salary of female blue-collar workers after deductions decreased by 11.1%. As for white-collar employees, men’s pay dropped by 5.8% and women’s pay by 1.8%.
The income report confirms that gender-specific pay inequalities are still considerable. Taking the average wage of a female employee as a reference, male employees earn 40% more. Austria belongs to the countries with the highest gender-related pay differentials in Europe.
While in 1999 gender-specific pay inequalities were higher among white-collar workers than among manual workers, in 2003 it was the other way round. Today the gender-specific wage gap is most pronounced among manual workers. Pay differentials are smallest in the case of civil servants. In 2003, with EUR 10,640, retired women received only half of the annual pension of men (EUR 19,550).
Average annual gross income of full-time workers in 2005
The average gross income of women employees in Austria made up 60% of the average income of men in 2011! On average men earned EUR 30,699 and women only EUR 18,549.
Reasons for gender specific differentials
The gender-specific pay differentials are accentuated by the fact that female employment is concentrated in low-pay sectors and that part-time work is much more prevalent among female employees. Female employment increased in the last years, but statistics reveal that there was only a rise in part-time jobs and even a decline in full-time jobs. The share of part-time jobs increased from 20% in 1991 to 33% in 2003 and to 40% in 2006. From 1995 to 2002, the number of female employees working part time increased by 144,000, while the number of women having full-time jobs decreased by 7,000.
Austria is the only country in the EU where the number of fully employed women has declined:
Changes in the employment rate of women in full-time jobs from 1995 to 2003 in %
Gender-related pay differentials persist
But the wage gap between men and women can only be partly attributed to the length of the working week. According to the report, these differences also exist among full-time employees and social scientists say that different pay for equally qualified employees is common. This gender wage gap already emerges at the employees’ first appointment after leaving the education system. Men start with a gross wage that is 18% higher than that of women belonging to the same occupational group. This difference has not changed since 1999.
31% of women had part-time jobs and 11% were minimally employed (geringfügig beschäftigt), i.e. they worked very few hours. The corresponding figures for men were 3% and 4%, respectively.

Additionally, men work more overtime than fully employed women.
Furthermore, the wages of male employees increase more in the course of working life than women’s pay. Interestingly, this does not apply to unmarried women. In a longer-term perspective, their wages exceed those of unmarried men.
The reconciliation of childcare tasks and housekeeping with employment is still a burden that mainly women have to bear. For every paid working hour, women have to perform 51 minutes of unpaid work at home. The corresponding figure for men is 11 minutes. The share of men in the total number of parental leaves is only about 3%.
Every year, women take leave for family reasons, something which accounts for a life income loss of 10%. This can be attributed to the reduction of the opportunities for career advancement and the fact that many of the women concerned accept part-time jobs after a family-related leave.