Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Croatian IT Sector Wages Lowest in European Union

May the 25th, 2022 - Croatian IT sector wages continue to be the lowest in the entire European Union (EU) despite the fact that this rapidly blossoming field has experienced a very real boom over the last few years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the cost of paying out wages for EU-based employers has continued to rise in most countries, with the exception of a few countries that stalled in 2020 and continued to grow, including the Republic of Croatia.

According to a quarterly analysis of labour market trends by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS), based on Eurostat data, only Ireland, Croatia and Cyprus had a temporary halt in gross hourly wage growth, while in Spain and Italy, gross hourly wages rose in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, but last year they ended up below the levels seen back in 2020.

The level of wage costs paid by employers per hour with all costs varies significantly between EU member states, from 7 euros in Bulgaria and 8.5 in Romania, to 41.6 euros in Belgium, 43 in Luxembourg and 46.9 in Denmark.

Compared to Croatia, where the average hour of work costs an employer around 11.2 euros, Bulgaria and Romania have a lower hourly rate, as do Latvia and Hungary, and employers in Lithuania and Poland have slightly higher costs to deal with. In neighbouring Slovenia, with which Croatia often likes to compare itself, the gross hourly wage is almost twice as high (21.1 euros).

Given the current alarm bells ringing from certain sectors, primarily hotels and the hospitality and catering field, the lack of qualified workers even despite the abolition of the annual quota system for the employment of foreign (non-EEA) workers, we can expect that in the Croatian case, hourly rates will have stronger growth in the 2020 report, but if we look back three years, wages have fallen in most sectors, with the exception of education, healthcare, entertainment and the arts.

The lowest hourly rates in Croatia were in administrative services (8.3 euros) and hotels and restaurants (8.6 euros), and the highest in the information and communication sectors (15.9 euros), finance (15.5 euros) and science (15.2 euros).

In the EU's finance and insurance sector last year, hourly rates ranged from 9.9 euros in Bulgaria to 77.3 euros in Luxembourg, and in professional, scientific and technical activities, they ranged from 10.9 euros in Bulgaria to a significantly higher 57.9 euros in Denmark.

In healthcare, hourly wages in the EU rose in all countries except Greece, ranging from 8.1 euros in Bulgaria to 45.2 euros in Luxembourg. And although the sector is the largest, Croatian IT sector wages remain the lowest in the entire EU, with Sweden leading in that regard with an impressive 57.7 euros per hour.

When it comes to tourism, last year, ranges from a mere 3.8 euros in Bulgaria to 40.7 euros in Denmark were the norm. Croatian hourly rates were at the level of Estonia, and Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Malta, and Romania take home less per hour.

Looking at other competitors when it comes to sea and sunshine, only in Greece, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, the price of an hour of work in tourism rose (to 15.2 euros), while in Spain and Italy it decreased slightly last year, and in the Croatian case, last year saw slight recovery, but that recovery failed to reach the record high of pre-pandemic 2019 of 9.1 euros. In neighbouring Slovenia, on the other hand, the hourly wage in the tourism sector stands at 14.6 euros.

In the manufacturing industry, hourly rates last year ranged from 5.8 euros in Bulgaria to 48.5 euros in Denmark, with only Germany, Sweden and Belgium seeing people take home more than 40 euros per hour. Here in Croatia, the price of an hour's work stood at 10.3 euros and is slightly higher than before the pandemic, but it is significantly lower than the sum just across the border in Slovenia (20.3 euros).

They have a lower gross hourly wage than Croatian industrialists in Romania (7.3 euros). In construction, only in Denmark do employees have an hourly salary of more than 40 euros, and the lowest of all can be seen in Bulgaria, Romania and neighbouring Hungary, and Croatian salaries are just over theirs, standing at 10 euros.

In Germany, on the other hand, where Croatian builders like to head to, gross hourly rates are lower than those in the manufacturing industry, which analysts associate with the employment of foreign workers, which increases labour supply and reduces wages. This is not the case, for example, in nearby Austria.

Much like in construction, the Danes are the only ones in trade to have an hourly rate above 40 euros, and the lowest can, once again, be seen in Bulgaria (6.3 euros), which is less than in Croatia (11.1 euros).

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Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Croatian IT Industry Growing Also in Pandemic, Seeking Strategic Status

ZAGREB, 7 Dec, 2021 - Croatia's IT industry has shown resilience also in the current pandemic, and in 2020 it saw revenues in the amount of HRK 28 billion and grew, though less than in 2019, going up by 3.3%. It is also looking for the status of a strategic branch considering its importance for all sectors, an analysis shows.

The analysis of the IT sector, made by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), was presented on Tuesday.

"The IT industry in Croatia employs 35,000 people or 6% more than in 2019, with the average wage having risen to around HRK 9,000, which is 60% above the average net wage in the business sector. In 2020 IT covered 5,700 companies, up 4% from 2019, which were important for digital transformation and social development. The industry could achieve more if the state improved the institutional framework and declared it a strategic branch," HGK Vice-President for Industries and Sustainable Development Tomislav Radoš said.

In that regard, expectations from a review of the Smart Specialisation Strategy are great in the sense that it could help enhance the status of the IT industry and make it even more active in digitalisation. Three more months are left to complete the review after which we can use it in negotiations with the European Commission about money from EU funds and other matters, Radoš said.

He noted that slightly more than HRK 9 billion or 32.5% of the 2020 revenue in the IT industry were exports, an increase of one billion kuna or 13% from 2019.

The State Secretary at the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry, Mile Horvat, said that in 2022, in addition to the review of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, also expected was the adoption of a national plan for digital transformation and artificial intelligence. IT is also an important part of the National Development Strategy for the period until 2030, he added.

Share of IT in GDP 2.5%; new jobs constantly created

The HGK analysis shows that the share of the IT industry in GDP in 2020 grew to 2.5% despite the pandemic, as well as that it keeps creating new jobs, having opened 11,000 jobs in the past five years (including 2020), with 2020 alone seeing an increase in the number of new jobs of around 2,000 compared to 2019.

Most or 55% of employees in the IT industry work in IT companies that provide services, while 28.4% work in prepackaged software manufacturers and more than 6% each work with equipment and software retailers and with outsourcing providers.

Zagreb has a dominant role in the IT industry, accounting for almost 78% or HRK 21.7 billion of the revenue in the IT sector in 2020. It is followed by Istria County, with a share of 5% in the total revenue, and Zagreb County, with a share of 3%.

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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Zagreb IT Company Q Opening Brand New Office in London

September the 7th, 2021 - Brexit or no Brexit, the British capital is still a huge allure for many companies from the rest of Europe and the world. The wildly successful Zagreb IT company Q is yet another Croatian company to put down roots in one of Europe's most expensive and beautiful cities. The company is not only opening a British office, but planning further employment, too.

As Novac writes, the Zagreb IT company Q has ambitious plans to open an office in no less than the City of London at the end of September this year. It is busy investigating the acquisition of a London-based company, and there are plans in the works to hire another hundred people this year, Q announced on Monday.

"Opening an office in London is a big step forward in terms of Q's expansion because it creates additional value for existing clients and opens up the opportunity to meet even more new ones. In addition to that, we're already looking for new staff in London, and exploring the potential acquisition of a London company," the statement from Vedran Tolic, the co-founder and chief operating officer of the Zagreb IT company Q, read.

Without revealing any details or the name of the company they intend to take over, Q says that they expect their brand new office in the international and booming British capital London to focus more strongly on strategic projects from very big brands, because they already have a number of successful collaborations with companies like The Times, BBC, Smart, uSwitch and others under their belt.

London is currently the largest market for the Zagreb IT company Q, and most of their clients are large corporations.

Q estimates that they have taken an important step by heading in the London direction towards the development of a network of offices in Europe's metropolises, with a view on the rest of the world, too.

They say that the number of new professionals they employ is constantly growing, and this year alone the team will increase by more than a hundred people, the statement concluded.

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