Monday, 23 January 2023

Employment in Croatia on Record High Levels, Job Ads Popping up Daily

January 23, 2023 - Good trends in the Croatian labour market. One million and 617 thousand residents are currently working, with the level of employment in Croatia last being that high back in 2008. In addition, the country marks record low unemployment, equal to the average of the European Union: 121,189 residents.

However, as Poslovni / HRT report, long-term unfavorable trends are still present. The aging population and the outflow of working-age people to other European countries. The ratio between employees and pensioners is still unfavorable - the number of workers per pensioner is 1:1.32. The job market opportunities, though, are changing faster than ever before.

Living in Croatia and working remotely for an employer who may not even be in the same time zone is an increasingly popular form of work in the country. Globalization has also affected Croatia. Employers based in the country have fewer and fewer professionals at their disposal because it is more profitable for such workers to be self-employed and freelance.

Labour market

"This means significant support for foreign employers, who are not registered in the Republic of Croatia, which means that the high subsidies given for independent work should be abolished compared to work based on an employment contract," said Hrvoje Balen, the president of Algebra's Board of Directors and president of the Executive Board of HUP ICT.

The demand for labour is still very strong. For example, employers in tourism are starting to look for workers earlier every season. Last year, 120,000 permits were issued to foreign workers, while at the same time, we have an equal number of unemployed people.

"We certainly expect growth; I think this is a strong growth that will not be pronounced in the future; we expect an increase of twenty to thirty percent, it is difficult to estimate at this moment because a lot of these work permits are extended permits for people to stay and work in Croatia," said Ivan Vidiš, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

There are more and more job ads, with a 22 increase in their number compared to 2019 on the Moj Posao portal alone. However, job advertisements from foreign employers do not follow this trend.

"Unfortunately, our market is exhausted, and in principle, there is a reduction in foreign advertisements in Croatia. Simply, so many people have moved out of Croatia that now it is more difficult for foreigners to find them, and they are looking further south, further east, on other continents", said the director of the Moj Posao portal, Igor Žonja.

Experts expect that there could be a slowdown in economies this year, which will also affect the labour market.

"We can see a certain slowdown, a cooling of the economy, and the labour market will feel this trend with a small lag; maybe sometime in the spring, slightly lower demand for work will be felt. It all very, very much depends on how much this recession in our foreign partners will hurt Croatia, how deep it will be, and how long it will last", stressed Dr. sc. Marina Tkalec, Institute of Economics, Zagreb.

In addition, due to inflation, higher wages will be in demand. Although we have more money in our wallets, it is worth less because inflation has grown faster than wages.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

MojPosao Portal: More Workers Were Wanted in 2021 than Before the Pandemic

January 4, 2022 - According to an analysis by the MojPosao portal, in 2021 more jobs were sought than before the pandemic and the most sought-after occupations were waiter, salesman, driver, storekeeper, cook, programmer, and production worker.

Last year, more than 74,000 job advertisements were published on the MojPosao portal, which is 42 percent more than in 2020 and eight percent more than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, while more than 1.5 million work applications were received, the MojPosao portal announced today.

"The analysis of the entire labor market, taking into account the total number of published job advertisements, shows a growing trend of labor demand and recovery of the labor market from the effects of the coronavirus crisis," said the portal MojPosao. According to the data they present, the most sought-after occupations in 2021 were: waiter (bartender), salesman (trader), driver, storekeeper, cook, programmer, and production worker.

Compared to the previous year, the highest growth in the number of advertisements was recorded in the categories of human resources (growth of 130 percent) and architecture (growth of 127 percent), while compared to 2019, the highest growth was recorded in the categories of construction, geodesy, geology 51 percent) and health, social work (growth of 46 percent).

The MojPosao portal also pointed out that last year more than 1.5 million employee applications were received, which is 6 percent more than in 2020 and 21 percent more than in 2019.

"Despite the fact that the beginning of the year did not look promising due to the rigorous epidemiological measures in force in January and February, which limited economic developments, the mitigation of measures in March led to a recovery in the labor market and significant growth in vacancies jobs which continued until the end of the year. Moreover, thanks to the high demand for labor in the second half of the year, the total number of published job advertisements exceeded the figures from the record, pre-pandemic 2019'', the portal states.

The director of the MojPosao portal, Igor Žonja, pointed out that the favorable trends are a reflection of a fairly successful tourist season and somewhat later seasonal employment than is usually the case, and "for some time now Croatia has been looking for more workers".

Last year, more than half of the ads (52 percent) referred to Zagreb and Zagreb County, followed by coastal counties - Primorje-Gorski Kotar (12 percent), Sibenik-Knin (also 12 percent), and Istria County (10 percent).

Considering the type of employment, in 2021, vacancies accounted for 73 percent of the total number of vacancies, which is almost the same as the year before, according to the MojPosao portal, noting that the ads provide for the possibility of marking more types of employment for the same job. Thus, there was 53 percent of job advertisements, also the same as in 2020. Seasonal workers were sought in six percent of the ads, while three percent of the ads were related to student jobs.

According to the MojPosao portal, 49 percent of employees were interested in a permanent job, while 24 percent were interested in part-time work. Also, seven percent of job seekers were interested in part-time work, and almost the same number of employees expressed interest in seasonal employment.

In 2021, employers were most often looking for candidates with a high school diploma - in 51 percent of advertisements, a high school diploma was a condition for successfully applying to the competition.

In 31 percent of the ads, knowledge of English was required, and in eight percent, German, while other languages ​​were less represented. Work experience was required in less than half of the ads (42 percent), on average two years and four months, the same as the year before.

In 2021, employers published more than 3,000 job advertisements abroad, which is 58 percent more than in 2020 and as much as 73 percent more than in 2019. Most advertisements abroad were published for work in Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, according to a statement from the MojPosao portal.


For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Over 2,000 Jobs Saved Thanks to Financial Instruments for Rural Development

ZAGREB, 3 Jan 2022 - Over 2,000 jobs have been saved and 54,000 animals purchased thanks to financial instruments under the Rural Development Programme, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.

fi-compass, the European Commission's platform for advisory services on financial instruments, is preparing a brochure on a case study of the Croatian micro and small loan scheme as an example of good practice for other EU members to follow. This is the result of positive ratings by end-users and the successful use of funding from financial instruments of the Rural Development Programme which Croatian farmers used in 2019 more than farmers in any other EU member state, while in 2020 the primacy was taken over by Poland and Croatia was second, the ministry said.

The ministry said that the total amount of funding from the financial instruments had increased several times, from the initial HRK 536 million to HRK 782 million, with HRK 437 million disbursed to 1,216 end users by the end of October 2021.

"Thanks to the projects supported by the financial instruments, more than 54,000 animals have been purchased and more than 2,300 jobs have been opened or preserved," the ministry said.

It noted that micro and small loans for rural development have been available under the Rural Development Programme since 2018, adding that 83 percent of their users are micro-businesses and 21 percent are young farmers. In order to contribute to generational renewal, the new program period 2023-2027 will make it possible for young farmers to buy land without any limits in the total value of the investment.

In December 2021, the ministry carried out a survey among 575 respondents, including some of the present end-users of financial instruments, and they rated the system of implementing financial instruments as very positive. The interest rate, which is 0.46 percent on average for all loans, was given the highest rating by 79 percent of users, while nearly a third of respondents said they had applied for a financial instrument and had their application granted in 92 percent of cases.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Labor Demand in 2021 Up 5.5% Compared to 2019, According to OVI Index

ZAGREB, 3 Jan 2022 - The EIZ Online Vacancy Index (OVI) has shown that labor demand in 2021 was up 5.5% compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019 and the positive trend continued in December with labor demand up by 32% year on year, the Institute of Economics, Zagreb (EIZ) reported on Monday.

"Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the calendar year has ended with good news because the latest OVI index has shown a continuing positive image of the labor market," EIZ said on its website.

The OVI index for December 2021 shows that labor demand in 2021 was 75% higher than for data related to December 2020 and 32% higher compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. This is the eighth month in a row in which labor demand has exceeded pre-pandemic months.

Labor demand in 2021 was 5.5% higher than it was in 2019 while the OVI index was 48% higher in 2021 compared to 2020.

EIZ reported that positive trends are also visible quarter on quarter with the OVI index for the fourth quarter of 2021 is as much as 60% higher than in Q4, 2020 and 20% higher compared with 2019 Q4.

The most sought-after workers were salespeople, cooks, waiters, warehouse workers, and drivers while 46 percent of advertisements were for fixed-term employment and 44 percent for permanent employment. In 2021, 1.6% of the jobs advertised offered the opportunity of working from home which is a significant increase compared to 2019. Prior to the pandemic, a mere 0.1% provided that option.

In addition, 2.6% of job advertisements in 2021 were for pensioners, up 1.2% from 2020 and 0.6% from 2019, EIZ analysts reported.

OVI is a monthly index of online job advertisements developed by EIZ in cooperation with the MojPosao job search website. The index aims to provide timely information on current labor demand.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Trade Union Says 23.2% of Croatians at Risk of Poverty

ZAGREB, 16 Oct, 2021 - The poverty risk rate in Croatia in 2020 was 18.3%, 23.2% of Croatians were at risk of poverty and the rate of severe material deprivation was 6.9%, the NHS trade union federation warned on Saturday, on the occasion of the International Day to Eradicate Poverty, 17 October.

The minimum net pay in 2021 is HRK 3,400, the average net monthly pay in July was HRK 7,046 and the median wage was HRK 6,000. An average Croatian household is able to cover only three quarters of its regular expenses from its regular income, and most households are forced to reallocate their funds and borrow.

Data show that in June 2021 households' debt reached HRK 138.9 billion, 4.2 billion more than in the same month of 2020.

Data from the EU's statistical office Eurostat show that in 2019 as many as 19.1% of those whose income was less than 60% of the national median were unable to afford adequate heating.

Data from the European Trade Union Institute show that since 2009 Croatia has seen the highest, 16.5% increase of all EU members in the number of households unable to afford adequate heating. 5.1% of employed persons in Croatia are poor, with the unemployed, elderly people, families with several children, single-parent households as well as single-member households, households with the minimum wage and most pensioners being the most at risk of poverty.

The average pension in 2020 was HRK 2,537.15 and the average pension of a former office-holder was HRK 10,016.56.

Croatia has become a country whose citizens are emigrating in search of a better life, a country of unstable and insecure jobs. Data show that due to job insecurity and low wages, as many as 77% of young people still live with their parents.

Stable and secure jobs, jobs with high added value, much higher minimum and all other wages and higher pensions are the only way out of poverty and social exclusion. Without that, we can only state with sadness and resignation, again on this year's International Day to Eradicate Poverty, that Croatia is an increasingly socially stratified, poor country of even poorer citizens, the NHS said.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

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Sunday, 5 September 2021

Vinkovci Employment Rate Encouraging, Potential for New Jobs High

September the 5th, 2021 - Vinkovci isn't a place that most people associate with economics in any way. Located in continental Croatia and further east than the City of Zagreb, many perhaps wrongly lump it in with other wrongly overlooked parts of the country which rarely get a mention in a positive economic light. That said, the Vinkovci employment rate is very encouraging, and entrepreneurs bringing job opportunities have their eye on the town.

As Novac writes, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Vinkovci is the only city in all of Eastern Croatia that is among the ten cities in the Republic of Croatia in terms of the number of employees per thousand inhabitants. Thanks to the support of the state and the City of Vinkovci, the number of entrepreneurs in Vinkovci is growing day by day, and there are no more places in the entrepreneurial zones - that's why new ones are being built.

In one Vinkovci plant, oak, walnut, ash and elm are cut, cut and dried, they make wooden products related to the serving of food for the hospitality and catering industry, said the owner Dragan Zaksek for HRT. The more unusual boards and trays are designed by Borna, who plans to work with his father after completing his high school education.

Vice Bozic successfully runs a digital marketing agency and is looking for new employees. He currently has three employees in his agency and their goal, he says, is to expand his business and work for companies from all over the world from Vinkovci.

The Vinkovci employment rate is encouraging, and there are eighteen enterprises looking for more labour in the now full business incubators, said manager Josip Cacic. They are even willing to co-finance the training of the workforce provided they commit to staying and working for them.

''We have a historically large number of employees, and this is perhaps a more important fact at this time. Throughout this pandemic, we felt almost nothing in terms of the number of employees, the gross salary grew by over 1000 kuna and there have been over 1000 new employees,'' stated the mayor of Vinkovci, Ivan Bosancic, of the impressive Vinkovci employment rate.

Vinkovci also provides subsidies to entrepreneurs and their companies, and they then provide higher salaries to their workers. Both entrepreneurial zones have been filled up, and they're now planning to bring foreign investors into the new one they're building and thus create even more new jobs.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Cafes Again Allowed to Serve Customers Indoors

ZAGREB, 1 Sept, 2021 - Cafes in Croatia are again allowed to serve their customers indoors as of 1 September after they were closed for nine months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new rules announced by the national COVID-19 response team, cafes and restaurants can stay open until midnight, customers must be seated while drinking and eating and must wear face masks before taking their seats and when going to the toilet.

In late November 2020, the national COVID-19 response team ordered cafes to close their indoor premises for business, allowing only those with terraces to operate.

Catering establishments have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis over the past 18 months. "Many have been exhausted physically, psychologically and financially. There are cafes that will not be able to operate indoors because they lack staff, and there are also those that do not have terraces, so it will be a little easier for them after they were closed for nine months," the head of the independent association of cafe and restaurant owners from Zagreb, Žaklina Troskot, told Hina.

She noted that about 1,100 closed catering establishments would not reopen and that 10,000 jobs have been lost in this sector since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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Friday, 27 August 2021

Despite Crisis, 2021 Saw Fewest Dismissals So Far; Nine in Ten Jobs Insecure

ZAGREB, 27 Aug 2021 - Only one in ten people who have found a job this year have been given permanent work contracts while 90% have found short or fixed-term jobs, Večernji List daily said on Friday, noting that despite the crisis, 2021 saw the fewest dismissals so far.

With the present share of insecure and short-term work Croatia has been holding the European record for years. In the first seven months of 2021 permanent work contracts were signed by slightly less than 9,500 previously employed persons while 83,000 signed fixed-term contracts, the daily says.

Labour market fluctuations are common but mass-scale hiring based on fixed-term employment contracts, followed by dismissals, has been a constant in Croatia for the past 20 years or so.

In 2019 and 2020 around 120,000 workers were hired on a fixed-term basis annually, and some of them probably signed such contracts with the same employer more than one time. Around 100,000 annually re-registered with the employment service, where they waited for another opportunity.

The seasonal character of Croatia's economy is determined by employment in tourism and the related services but fixed-term employment is present also in all other sectors. The prevalence of short-term employment has only been partially alleviated by high government incentives to businesses that sign fixed-term employment contracts with persons under 30.

Since 2015 the state has offered five-year exemption from the payment of wage contributions to businesses that give young people permanent work contracts. These incentives are currently paid for around 150,000 young people, of whom only about 20,000 were given permanent work contracts right away.

Even though this is a strong financial intervention, it has lowered the previous share of fixed-term contracts in the total number of new contracts from 95 to 90%, which bears evidence of the complexity of the problem of short-term hiring.

The number of workers who were declared redundant in the first seven months of 2021 is similar to the same period of 2019 but it is much lower than in 2020. Apart from workers who were declared redundant, another 900 workers were fired because their employers ceased operating, which is a significantly lower number than in the past two years, the daily says.

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Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Zagreb County Employment Rate Rises by 3.3 Percent

August the 4th, 2021 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has threatened jobs like never before, with countries which rely very heavily on tourism suffering unimaginable uncertainty. Croatia is one of them. Things are slowly recovering however, and the Zagreb County employment rate has risen.

Economic issues in Croatia weren't ''born'' when the pandemic struck the globe, but they were certainly made exponentially worse with intermittent lockdowns and issues with transport, travel and tourism. While the Zagreb County employment rate perhaps isn't the one you'd expect to see much growth in comparison to the coast, things are looking up.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, with the highest total revenue of 6.1 billion kuna in 2020 and the largest number of employees - 2,377, Lidl Hrvatska (Croatia) from Velika Gorica neat the City of Zagreb maintained its dominant role among leading companies based in Zagreb County.

The largest exporter was the company Hospira Zagreb from Prigorje Brdovecki (809.5 million kuna), according to Fina, which, for the pandemic-dominated year of 2020, shows a good picture of Zagreb County's economy in which 9258 enterprises had their headquarters last year. With its 63,044 employees, there is a 3.3 percent increase in Zagreb County employment levels.

The average monthly net salary for Zagreb County employees amounted to 6,144 kuna, which is 2.7 percent higher than it was back in 2019 and 2.9 percent higher than the average for that category at the Croatian level.

According to the processed AFS for 2020, companies operating in this continental Croatian county achieved 56.9 billion kuna of total revenues (0.1 percent more than back in 2019).

Compared to other counties, Zagreb County is highly ranked according to a number of indicators: it is in fifth place according to the number of companies headquartered there, third according to the number of employees, second according to total revenues and realised net profit, and number one according to the indicator of labour productivity measured by net profit and the number of employees, making it the country's best in that regard at the moment.

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

OVI Index in May 2021 Shows Labour Demand Higher than in May 2019

ZAGREB, 6 June, 2021 - Online Vacancy Index (OVI) for May 2021 is several times higher compared to May 2020, and comparison with May 2019 shows that labour demand was about 1% higher compared to the pre-pandemic level, the Zagreb Institute of Economics (EIZ) said last Tuesday.

From the perspective of OVI index, the labour market has been showing clear signs of recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for the third consecutive month, the EIZ said.

OVI index for May 2021 is many times higher than in the same month last year, but in May 2020, the labour market was extremely inactive due to strict antipandemic rules. However, a comparison of OVI index for May 2021 and for May 2019 shows that labour demand is about 1% higher compared to the pre-pandemic level. This is the first recorded increase in labour demand, compared to the pre-pandemic level, since the pandemic started, the EIZ said.

The most sought-after occupations in May 2021 were salesperson, cook and waiter, with a total combined share in labour demand of about 28%.

"The demand for cooks and waiters has recovered significantly, which is in part a result of relatively late preparation for the tourist season," EIZ analysts said.

OVI (Online Vacancy Index) is a monthly index of online job advertisements developed by the Zagreb Institute of Economics in cooperation with the web portal MojPosao.

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