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Growing cross-border commuting between Hungary and Austria

Despite the latest measures of the Austrian government cutting family allowances for the children of foreign workers, the number of cross-border commuters traveling between Hungary and Austria amounts to 40,000 in western Vas County alone, according to Hungarian news portal Index.

The number reaches a combined 400,000 in settlements along the entire length of the border with Austria. Some 20-30% of the active population in this region crosses the border twice a day to get a salary in euros that is at least three times higher than in Hungary.

Cross-border commuters are usually overeducated for their Austrian jobs and often struggle with hierarchy problems in neighboring Burgenland, notes Index. However, it adds that since Austria opened its labor market in 2011, villages on the Hungarian side have changed rapidly, with higher classes of car and newly landscaped gardens much more common.

Nearly one-third of commuters work in industry and construction, while one-fifth are employed in trade, services and catering.

Despite lower business expenditures and consumer prices, Burgenlanders protest from time to time about the increased numbers of foreign laborers, Index notes.