The job market project that made Sven Hergovich famous

As AMS manager, the current SPÖ Lower Austria boss Sven Hergovich designed a successful project to abolish long periods of unemployment. Due to the high costs and false incentives, it is not suitable for the broad fight against unemployment.

What happens to people when everyone in their home village suddenly becomes unemployed? Starting in 1931, this was investigated by a team of researchers led by Marie Jahoda and Paul Lazarsfeld. After the local textile factory in Marienthal closed, the former workers’ settlement in Gramatneusiedl, Lower Austria, became the scene of the Marienthal study. The study gained fame far beyond the borders of the social sciences – thanks not only to its findings, but also to its readability. No familiarity with scientific language is required for reading. Rather, the “Unemployed from Marienthal” is a gripping document about the successive impoverishment, loneliness and decay as a result of long periods of unemployment.

In 2020, a young, up-and-coming labor market expert and SPÖ politician made the historic municipality of Gramatneusiedl the center of his prestige project to abolish long-term unemployment. From 2018, Sven Hergovich headed the Lower Austrian labor market service. The now 34-year-old has been the head of the Lower Austrian SPÖ since Monday evening. The “Marienthal Job Guarantee” program runs until February 2024.