Arbeiter Zeitung was started on 12 July 1889 by the Socialist Party and Victor Adler. The paper was banned in 1934 after the 13 February issue, but reappeared on 4 August 1945 as the main organ of the Austrian Social Democrat Party, continuing until 1989, providing general coverage of Austrian and international news. From 1985 through 1989 it was published under the title Neue AZ; from 1989 to 1991 it was published as AZ. From 1989 until 1991 it was published as an independent newspaper, and ceased publication in 1991.
In the 1920s the circulation of the daily reached 100,000 copies. The paper reduced its circulation by one quarter from 1960 to 1990.