Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Coronavirus Epidemic Reduces Employment, Reverses Seasonal Trends

ZAGREB, April 7, 2020 - The number of policyholders with the Croatian Pension Insurance Fund (HZMO) fell in March from the previous month, indicating that the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic has resulted in lay-offs and that employers did not hire seasonal workers as in the previous years.

The number of policyholders decreased by 12,423, or 0.8%, to 1,529,905. The largest monthly decrease, of 6.4%, was recorded in the tourism and hospitality industry.

The number of insured persons also fell in other important categories, including the manufacturing industry (-0.3%) and trade (-0.9%).

"Despite the pre-crisis expectations that the start of the spring months and the Easter holidays, influenced by seasonal factors, will formally mark the start of the tourist (pre)season and the simultaneous rise in the number of policyholders, the monthly fall in the total number of policy holders reflects the first obstacles and difficulties that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the Croatian labour market," Raiffeisen Bank (RBA) said in an analysis of the HZMO data.

RBA analysts expect that the usual seasonal trends relating to the tourist season will be weaker than in the previous years.

Compared with March 2019, the number of policyholders increased by 8,646 or 0.6%. The increase was mainly driven by increases in the number of policyholders from the information and communications industry (+7.4%), construction (+5.8%), and professional, scientific and technical activities (+3.9%).

On the other hand, decreases were recorded in the manufacturing industry (-1.3%) and tourism and hospitality (-8.4%).

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Eurostat: Pace of Hiring Accelerates in the EU and Croatia

ZAGREB, March 11, 2020 - The pace of hiring in the European Union accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2019 both on the quarter and on the year, with the same trend being recorded in Croatia, Eurostat said in its revised estimate on Tuesday.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the number of employed persons in the 27-member bloc rose by 0.3% from the previous quarter, following an increase of 0.1% in the third quarter. This raised the initial estimate for last year's final quarter by 0.1 percentage point.

Year-on-year, the number of employed persons increased by 1%, which is 0.1 percentage point more than Eurostat's February estimate. In the third quarter, the number of employed persons went up by 0.9%.

In Croatia the number of employed persons in Q4 increased by 0.7% on the quarter. Compared with an increase of 0.5% in the third quarter, this points to a slightly accelerated pace of hiring. On an annual level, it rose by 1.9% in the fourth quarter after going up 0.9% in the third quarter.

In 2019, the number of employed persons in the EU went up by 1%, following a 1.4% increase in 2018.

In the fourth quarter, a total of 209.3 million citizens were employed in the EU, which is the highest number of employed persons since Eurostat started publishing data. It is by 15.1 million higher than the lowest number of employed persons in the EU recorded in the post-crisis period in Q1 2013.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

60 Million Euro Granted for Self-Employment in 2019

ZAGREB, February 23, 2020 - Last year the Croatian Employment Bureau (HZZ) provided HRK 446 million (€60m) in aid for self-employment, benefiting 8,723 people.

Self-employment grants, financed by the state budget, the European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative, are part of the HZZ's active employment policy measures. They are intended for starting sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, simple limited liability companies and cooperatives.

Between 2010 and 2019, a total of HRK 1.25 billion (€169m) was granted for promoting self-employment, covering 32,793 persons, the HZZ told Hina.

In 2019, grants were mostly awarded for professional, research and technical activities, construction, manufacturing, information and communications, and various services such as hairdressing, repair of computers and personal and household goods, and dry cleaning.

Last year the maximum amount payable for self-employment was HRK 70,000 (€9,500), plus an additional 15,000 (€2,000) for training or on-the-job training, while this year the maximum amount is HRK 100,000 (€13,500), plus an additional 10,000 (€1,350) for on-the-job training.

More economy news can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 7 February 2020

New Law on Foreigners Introduces New Rules for Their Employment in Croatia

ZAGREB, February 7, 2020 - The government on Thursday sent to the parliament a bill on foreigners with new regulations on their employment in Croatia, and the government will no longer have the duty to set quotas for the employment of foreign nationals.

Under the bill, employers shall contact the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) when planning to recruit new workers, and the HZZ will provide them with its opinion after testing the labour market.

If it is established that there are no jobless people registered with the HZZ with the qualifications specified in the request submitted by the employer, the HZZ will give a green light for hiring foreigners. After that, the employer concerned can submit a request to the relevant police stations to issue permits for the employment and stay of foreigners, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said at the government's session.

Under the bill, the issuance of a permit can take 45 days at the most, and in the case of professions and occupations in high demand the procedure should not take more than 15 days, while requests for seasonal employment should be granted in 10 days' time.

The HZZ is also supposed to define the cases that do not require testing the labour market before recruitment.

The new legislation will also introduce the institute of long-term residents who are non-EU citizens.

Also, rules for the temporary or long-term stay of foreign nationals of the Croat ethnic background will be relaxed.

More employment news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Hunt for Workers Begins, Employers Seek 4,500 Work Permits for Foreigners

ZAGREB, February 3, 2020 - It is only this year that the employment rate in Croatia could reach the level of the pre-crisis 2008, when 1.6 million workers had a job and paid contributions, the Večernji List daily of Monday reports.

The job offer is generally the scarcest in the winter months, but the market is waking up already in February, when demand for workers in agriculture, construction and tourism starts growing.

Currently 19,000 job vacancies are advertised by the national employment office, and the Ministry of the Interior's Department for Aliens in January received around 4,500 applications for work permits for foreign nationals, the daily says.

Most applications, around 3,000, refer to jobs in the construction sector, while around 700 applications are for jobs in the tourism sector. This year, around 100,000 foreign nationals could be working in Croatia. Since the labour pool in neighbouring countries is decreasing, a growing number of workers are arriving from Asia.

In February around 139,000 unemployed persons were registered with the national employment office and if the demand for workers remains the same as last year, when around 150,000 people found employment through the employment office, many of whom found temporary jobs, the official unemployment figures could fall below 100,000 by the summer.

Around 37,000 of the unemployed are people aged under 29 and they are likely to find a job more easily. Around 46,000 jobless are people who have been unemployed for a long time, says the daily.

More employment news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

83,000 People Stopped Working in Croatia in September

As Ljubica Gataric/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of November, 2019, about 66,000 workers were hired to start new jobs in Croatia during September, including about 7,400 first-time job seekers. In the second quarter, 29,000 unemployed people found jobs in the Republic of Croatia, but alongside that, 15,000 workers went to sign on at the job centre during the same time period.

In line with the unfortunate seasonal nature of Croatia's economy, the autumn and winter months bring much fewer jobs, as has been clearly evidenced by the number of job seekers officially registered.

The number of unemployed people is around 125,000, and they can choose from 11,000 job vacancies in total. As a rule, the big move towards ''signing on'' at the job centre typically occurs in October, and this year around 83,000 employees remained without employment in September, and this of course sounds tragic, but like every year, it mostly regards those who were working seasonal jobs.

Eurostat has released the results of a new European labour market survey showing that between the first and second quarters of 2019, three million people (one fifth of all unemployed in the first quarter of 2019) found a job. However, during that same period, 8.3 million former employees ended up out of work and a further 3.3 million became otherwise economically inactive.

The survey does not contain data for Germany, but Croatia is included. According to this data, in the second quarter of 2019, 29,000 unemployed people found a job in Croatia, but in that same period, 15,000 workers registered as job seekers. Another 20,000 ex workers became economically inactive.

Compared to 2018 or 2017, the number of unemployed people finding a job in Croatia halved in the second quarter, traditionally the strongest quarter in terms of new employment due to the boom in agriculture, construction and tourism. In 2018, 63,000 unemployed people were employed in Croatia during this period, and about 56,000 were back in 2017.

As job offers aren't declining, obviously working exhausting seasonal jobs is not a solution for the existing group of unemployed individuals, 47,000 of whom are registered as long-term unemployed. Compared to others, Croatia has a very low employment rate for young highly educated people. At the EU level, 82 out of 100 graduates are employed. In the statistical region of the Adriatic Croatia, employment of young people with higher education levels is only 57 percent, while in the continental part of the country, job opportunities for those with higher education are much better and 72 percent find employment within three years of graduation.

Eurostat states that in addition to the unemployed from the official register, another 22,000 economically inactive workers in the second quarter were employed in Croatia, these people weren't registered as unemployed but were clearly interested in getting job when one was available to them. A year earlier, 27,000 people went into employment during the same period. In the third quarter, 45,000 economically inactive people got jobs last year. All this shows that people do want to work if given the opportunity to do so.

Among the 10 most sought after jobs currently offered, those in the low-paying service sectors continue to dominate.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Interpersonal Relations Most Important When Choosing a Job, Survey Shows

ZAGREB, November 11, 2019 - Two-thirds of respondents believe the most important thing when choosing a job are good interpersonal relations, followed by pay and working hours, according to the findings of a survey conducted by the MojPosao job-seeking website.

More than 1,000 respondents took part in the survey aimed at establishing the situation on the labour market. Fifty-one percent were employed, 43% jobless and 6% still in school.

Interpersonal relations are crucial when choosing a job for 69% of respondents, pay is of paramount importance to 62% and working hours to 46% of those interviewed.

Fifty-four percent believe knowledge and skills have the biggest impact on the chance of getting a job, while 20% believe it is work experience, 8% say luck is important and 6% believe good contacts and who you know is crucial.

Only 3% believe the degree of education is a decisive factor, while 2% believe that being a member of a political party plays a key role in getting a job.

Seventy percent of respondents plan to change their job in the next year, more than in a survey conducted in 2012 (52%). In 2012, 52% of respondents were afraid of losing their job, compared to only 18% now.

Sixty-four percent of respondents have been jobless over the past three months, 12% over the past three to six months and 7% over the past five years or longer.

Sixty-two percent are looking for any job, while 28% want a job only in their profession.

Forty-one percent who are still in school expect to look for a job less than three months after finishing school, 19% expect to find it in less than a month and 18% hope to find a job within six months of finishing school.

More business news can be found in the dedicated section.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Number of People in Work Down 0.7%

ZAGREB, October 22, 2019 - A total of 1.56 million people in Croatia were gainfully employed at the end of September 2019, which is 10,899 persons or 0.7% fewer than in the previous month, while the registered unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.8% in August, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS).

Compared with September 2018, the number of people in work was 0.9% higher.

Data from the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) show 112,376 people were registered with the HZZ at the end of September 2019, down by 1.9% from August 2019 and by 13.9% from September 2018.

The registered unemployment rate, calculated as a share of unemployed people in the total active population, was 6.7% in September, compared with 6.8% in August.

The volume of construction work carried out in Croatia in August 2019 was 3.5% higher than in August 2018 and 1.1% lower than in July 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) says.

The volume of construction work on buildings increased by 4% year on year, while the volume of work on other civil engineering structures, such as roads, railways, pipelines, dams and sporting grounds, rose by 2.6%.

Compared with July 2019, construction work fell by 0.4% on buildings and by 2.6% on other structures.

More economic news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 16 September 2019

In Half of Croatian Towns Less than 10% of Population Employed

ZAGREB, September 16, 2019 - In nearly one in two cities or municipalities, 248 of 555, less than 10% of the population is employed, Jutarnji List daily said in Monday's issue.

These alarming data reveal, as warned by economists, the extent to which Croatia has transformed into an economy increasingly based on renting, notably along the coast.

The most active population is in the northern counties of Varaždin, Krapina-Zagorje, Međimurje, and Koprivnica-Križevci. Of the ten cities with the highest share of those employed in the total population, five are in northern Croatia, with Varaždin and Čakovec having the highest shares, 60.9% and 60.1% respectively.

The Varaždin area and the Međimurje region are the healthiest parts of Croatia in terms of enterprise, Predrag Bejaković of the Institute of Public Finance told Jutarnji List.

Paradoxically, salaries there are among the lowest in the country, which economists say is due to the textile and footwear industries, which have strong roots in there and in which pay is traditionally low.

Although data on the active population by city or municipality are not complete as they do not encompass those employed in trades and freelancers, who account for 15% of all employed, as well as farmers, they represent a good indicator of trends on the labour market and in society, the newspaper said.

The shares refer to the total population of a city or municipality, not just the active population, reflecting the demographic disaster Croatia is going through. While the north of the country, the City of Zagreb and the tourism-oriented Istria County are doing relatively well, the rest of the country is having a hard time both demographically and economically.

Many talk about two Croatias, one focused on enterprise and one on the rent economy and employment in the public sector, Jutarnji List said.

More news about Croatian economy can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Filipinos and Bangladeshis Arriving as Workers in Croatia

ZAGREB, June 21, 2019 - The leader of the Philippine Association of Service Exporters (PASEI), Elsa U. Villa, has told the Zagreb-based Jutarnji List daily that they have explored the labour market and found out that Croatia is in need of workers, while the Philippines can satisfy that need.

At the start of this year we were informed that Croatia needed some 2,000 workers, and the needs have been rising since then, Villa was quoted as saying in an article published on Friday.

She said that the association could ensure the hiring of workers of various professions and occupations.

In this context, she said that the Filipinos would be ready to work in the tourism and hospitality industry as well as in agriculture and construction.

She explained that the minimum acceptable monthly salary for a lower-educated Filipino may be 450 euro plus the coverage of the accommodation and food costs.

Filipino job-seekers with a higher education expect the monthly salaries from 700 euro and up.

The procedure for issuance of work permits runs smoothly, however, the problem occurs with the issuance of visas since Croatia has no embassy in Manila, she said.

Croatia is ready to import Bangladeshi workers, according to information released after talks on this matter between the Bangladeshi Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sheikh Mohammed Belal, and Assistant Croatian Labour Minister Dražen Opalić.

The Bangladeshi embassy in The Hague has stated that after the talks held in Zagreb, Opalić announced that Croatia would soon forward to Bangladesh a draft memorandum of understanding on this topic, the Zagreb-based Večernji List reported on Friday.

The talks revolved about doctors, nurses, IT specialists, as well as workers in the tourism and construction industries being on demand in Croatia.

The labour and pension system ministry confirmed for the Vecernji List information about the meeting between the assistant minister and the ambassador.

The ministry permanently follows the situation on the labour market to address the challenges considering the demand for labour force, however Minister Marko Pavić underscores that that government's priority is to ensure the hiring of the domestic labour force, the ministry told the daily.

More news about employment in Croatia can be found in the Business section.

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