Wage Tax Statistics 2020

Wage tax statistics 2020 are based on approximately 10.6 million pay slips issued to employees and pensioners. These data are collected by the Austrian tax authorities and also used for the compilation of wage tax statistics. Wage tax is a special form of income tax and is collected via deductions from the taxpayer’s wage or pension. The wage tax scale is a progressive scale.

Taxpayers, earnings and the wage tax burden

In the year 2020 under review, a total of 7 028 904 taxpayers were registered, of whom 4 575 068 were employees and 2 453 836 were pensioners. Compared with 2019, the number of taxpayers decreased by 1.8%. Gross earnings rose by 1.5% to a volume of €215 362.7 million. A total of 3 537 344 taxpayers or 50.3% were men, 49.7% or 3 491 560 were women. The men got 60.7% of gross earnings and contributed 69,5% of the tax revenue. 22.4% of all taxpayers were not liable for paying wage tax as they were below the taxation threshold. 5.5 million taxpayers had only one pay slip (employment or pension) in the year under review, while 1.5 million had more than one pay slip.

The social position and age class of employees

With a share of 48.6%, white collar workers were the largest employee group. One third of employees (36.6%) were blue collar workers. Civil servants under contract accounted for 8.5%, and officials for 3.4%. 2.3% of all employees were apprentices and 0.5% of all employees had other pays (e.g. politicians).

About 24.5% of employees with full-year earnings were aged between 41 and 50, while the 31 to 40 age group accounted for a slightly lower percentage (24.1%). Among employees with full-year earnings, 3.2% were aged over 60. Almost three quarters of these 108 561 employees were men (80 338), while only one quarter were women (28 223).

Full-year and partial-year earnings

Almost three quarters (73.2%) of all employees – more than 3.3 million people – received pay throughout the entire year. Overall, they received 91.3% of the gross earnings of all employees. In contrast, 1.2 million employees were not employed for the entire year. This group predominantly comprised unemployed, people on maternity/paternity leave and holiday trainees, who were employed a limited period of time during the year under review, and people starting a new job. Of the roughly 2.5 million pensioners, some 94.7% drew a full year’s pension.

Gross pay and its distribution

A total of 938 312 employees – 2.2% more than in 2019 – received gross earnings of €50 000 or more; 71.4% of these were men. As gross earnings increase, so does the proportion of men receiving them: of those employees with gross earnings in excess of €200 000, 87.2% were men. Some 3.8‰ of employees were in the top pay bracket. One fifth (20.0%) of all employees (excluding apprentices) received a gross annual income of less than €10 000. It should be noted, however, that in the lowest gross pay levels, there were many employed persons working a low number of hours, part-time employees and employees who did not work for the entire year. 26.4% of all employees (not including apprentices) earned less than €15 000 and 33.6% less than €20 000.

Gross pay per capita of full-time employees with full-year earnings

In the year under review, a total of 50.7% of all employees were employed full-time throughout the entire year. Annual per-capita gross pay in this group varied significantly depending on social position and region. The highest average gross income was achieved by the very small category (5 041 persons) of persons with “other incomes” (for example earnings of full-time politicians, earnings of municipal council members), men received an average gross income of €72 719 and woman of €70 674. Male officials earned €67 629 and female officials €67 523. Male white collar workers earned €70 126 on average. The corresponding figure for female white collar workers was €48 567. Male civil servants under contract achieved gross earnings of €55 418, their female counterparts €49 300. Among blue collar workers, men drew a gross wage of €37 692 on average, women €28 260. In 2020, the per-capita gross pay of men employed full-time throughout the entire year was €54 802, and for women €45 711.

The only Länder in which earnings exceeded the Austrian average (€52 151) were Vienna (€54 889) and Lower Austria (€53 711). The highest average gross earnings were recorded in Vienna’s first district (the city centre) with €96 493 (men: €112 295, women: €77 007), and outside of the federal capital in the Mödling district (€68 279, men: €75 792, women: €56 036). The lowest average incomes among men were drawn in Vienna’s tenth district (€46 296) and among women in Landeck (€38 335).

Extent of employment

The average gross annual earnings of employees who were employed for the entire year varied significantly based on working hours: among full-time employees, the figure for Austria as a whole was €52 151 (men: €55 261, women: €45 831), and among part-time employees, just €23 183 (men: €23 959, women: €22 988). Part-time employment concerns mainly women: some 52.4% were employed part-time. Women constituted around 72.5% of all part-time employees. Among men, the ratio of part-time to full-time employment was 1:4.7, while for women the number of part-time employees exceeded the number of full-time employees (ratio 1:0.87).

Part-time work varied depending on social position; it was rather prevalent among blue collar workers (women: 58%, men: 20%) and less frequent among white collar workers and civil servants under contract (women: 55% to 42%, men: 18% to 9%). The widest span between men and women was found among officials: just 1.7% of male officials worked part-time, while thirteen times as many of their female colleagues (22.2%) were in part-time positions. Persons in the category “other incomes” also displayed a high part-time rate: 47% of male and 55% of female persons in this group worked part-time. A comparison of the data for the years 2019 and 2020 reveals that overall employment decreased by 2.3%. This reduction grounds on the decrease of part-time jobs (-1.5%) as well as of full-time jobs (-2.8%). The number of persons with an unknown extent of employment increased by +2.3%.

Economic branches

In the year 2020, some 54.3% of employees were recorded in just five ÖNACE sections, namely the combined sections O (“Public administration and defense; compulsory social security”) + P (“Education”) + Q (“Human health and social work activities”) and in ÖNACE sections C (“Manufacturing”) and G (“Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles”). ÖNACE sections F (“Construction”) and I (“Accommodation and food service activities”) accounted for 7.7% and 7.3%. The sections N (“Administrative and support service activities”) and H (“Transportation and storage”) followed with a share of around 6.6% and 5.0% of all employees. In contrast, “Financial and insurance activities” accounted for just 3.2%, and “Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply” and “Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities” for a mere 1% each.

In 2020, most women worked in two economic branches: ÖNACE sections O (“Public administration and defense; compulsory social security”) + P (“Education”) + Q (“Human health and social work activities”) with 732 000 female employees, and ÖNACE section G (“Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles”), in which 372 000 females were employed. Most men worked in “Manufacturing” (ÖNACE C), where male employees totalled 515 000. The annual per-capita gross income of full-time employees with full-year earnings varied greatly between the different branches. For instance, the figure in ÖNACE K (“Financial and insurance activities”) was €76 661, while in “Accommodation and food service activities” (ÖNACE I) it was only around one third of this amount (€28 325).

Note: The brochure “Wage Tax Statistics 2020”, containing all tables, can be downloaded as a PDF file free of charge (in German only). Simply click the Publications sheet (see below).

Wage tax statistics - main results 2020
Main results of wage tax statistics from 2014 to 2020
Taxpayers 2020 by sex, social position and gross earning levels
Taxpayers, gross earnings and wage tax revenue 2020 by Länder and sex

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