Vienna: Despite having had a clear economic growth advantage over many other EU countries over the past two decades Austria now no longer has this edge, a labour market expert said.

Helmut Mahringer from the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) said this is reflected in the nation’s continuously increasing unemployment rate, compounded by new jobless figures released on Monday, that show Austria slipping further down the ranks in an EU comparison, reported Xinhua news agency.

He said pension reforms and the immigration rate have led to a higher number of job seekers than newly-available jobs making the battle against unemployment more difficult.

To this end, payroll taxes should be reduced so that companies hire more new employees, the expert said.

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