Impact of opening full labour market access to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals as of 1 January 2014: the case of Austria

Client/Funding Institution

Austrian Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth


The study analyses the migration potential and the impact on Austria’s economy that is to be expected after the lifting of access restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals as of 1 January 2014. Estimates show that - as compared with a scenario with retained restrictions - in the years 2014 and 2015 net migration from the two countries to Austria will account for 5700 and 5300 additional persons, respectively, solely due to the full liberalisation of the labour market. About three quarters of those migrants are expected to come from Romania. In the years following the opening of the labour market, employment will be by about 6700 persons higher than it would be without liberalisation in 2014 and by about 10,300 persons above that level in 2015. The employment effect results not only from the higher population flows but also from the activation of a part of those Bulgarian and Romanian migrants who have been resident in Austria already before the liberalisation - also in 2007-2013 an increased inflow of migrants from those two countries was observed. The additional labour force supply will only cause a temporary marginal increase in the overall unemployment rate. Gross domestic product in 2014 and 2015 is expected to be higher by about 0.09% and 0.13%, respectively, and the unemployment rate is estimated to be higher by about 0.03% in both years, than would be the case without labour market liberalisation. The study was written in German, original title: 'Auswirkungen der Arbeitsmarktöffnung am 1. Jänner 2014 auf den Wirtschafts- und Arbeitsstandort Österreich'


April 2013 - December 2013

wiiw team Leader

Isilda Mara

wiiw Staff

Veronika Janyrova, Hermine Vidovic

Keywords: migration

Countries covered: EU27

Research Areas: Labour, Migration and Income Distribution