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Commuter migration and foreign workers 1950-2000

Commuters at the Main Station

It was not until the sixties – later than the western European trend – that the so-called foreign worker migration came to affect Austria.

In Linz one can speak of a second phase shift: in 1971 the proportion of foreigners in the population was 2.7 %. In 1981 it was closer to 4 %. These figures are below average. On the one hand the shortage of labour in the fifties and sixties was made up by the presence of many “ethnic German” refugees, and on the other tens of thousands of people commuted into the Linz area from outside of the city.

In the first decades of the Second Republic, the City of Linz was strongly affected by the state industries, which predominantly employed Austrian citizens. This and other factors resulted in low levels of  employment of foreign workers initially.

It was not until the nineties when the proportion of foreigners in the populace passed ten per cent that the average for European cities was reached; this was accompanied by political and everyday conflicts.

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