Monday, 23 August 2021

Biggest Cities Not Among Top 10 Cities in Terms of Employees Per 1,000 Inhabitants

ZAGREB, 23 Aug 2021 - In Croatia, the list of top ten cities in terms of the number of employees per 1,000 inhabitants include Varaždin, Čakovec, Zabok, Prelog, Sveta Nedelja, Koprivnica, Krk, Poreč, Dubrovnik, and Vinkovci, according to the data released by the national statistical office (DZS) on Monday.

The information about this ranking of the top 10 cities was released by the local authorities in Vinkovci that boasted that this eastern Croatian city made the top ten in terms of the number of workers per 1,000 inhabitants.

The list is topped by the northern city of Varaždin (630 employees per 1,000) and is followed by another two northern cities, Čakovec  (571) and Zabok (525).

Vinkovci has 401 employees per 1,000 residents, which ranks it in 10th place.

The ranking does not include the capital city of Zagreb or any of the other three biggest cities: Split, Osijek, and Rijeka.

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Croatia's June Unemployment Rate Slightly above EU Average

ZAGREB, 30 July 2021 - The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell both in the EU and the euro area in June 2021, while in Croatia it was slightly above the EU average, a Eurostat report showed on Friday.

The EU unemployment rate was 7.1% in June 2021, down from 7.3% in May 2021 and down from 7.3% in June 2020. The euro area unemployment rate was 7.7%, down from 8.0% in May 2021 and
from 8.0% in June 2020.

An estimated 14.916 million men and women in the EU, of whom 12.517 million in the euro area, were unemployed in June 2021. Compared with May 2021, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 487,000 in the EU and by 423,000 in the euro area. Compared with June 2020, unemployment decreased by 397,000 in the EU and by 339,000 in the euro area.

Highest unemployment in Greece and Spain

The highest unemployment rates in June 2021 were recorded in Greece and Spain (both 15.1%), followed by Italy (9.7%) and Sweden (9.2%). The lowest rates were observed in Czechia (2.8%), the Netherlands (3.2%), Malta and Poland (both 3.6%).

In Croatia, the unemployment rate was 7.4%, down by half a percentage point from May. A total of 132,000 people were out of work in Croatia in June, which is 10,000 fewer than in May. Compared with June 2020, their number declined by 23,000.

Youth unemployment

In June 2021, 2.967 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.431 million were in the euro area. The youth unemployment rate was 17.0% in the EU and 17.3% in the euro area, down from 17.6% and 17.9% respectively in the previous month. Compared with May 2021, youth unemployment decreased by 112,000 in the EU and by 78,000 in the euro area. Compared with June 2020, youth unemployment decreased by 152,000 in the EU and by 110,000 in the euro area.

The highest youth unemployment rate in June 2021 was registered in Greece (37.1%), followed by Spain (30.4%) and Italy (29.4%). The lowest rates were observed in Czechia (7.1%), Germany (7.5%) and the Netherlands (7.6%).

In Croatia, which is not required to submit monthly reports on youth unemployment, but quarterly,  the youth unemployment rate in the second quarter of the year was 22.9%, up by 2.1% compared with the previous quarter. A total of 33,000 young people in Croatia were out of work in the second quarter, 4,000 fewer than in the first quarter. Compared with the second quarter of 2020, their number fell by 5,000.

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Friday, 21 May 2021

April Sees 1.2% Fewer Jobless YOY

ZAGREB, 21 May 2021 - At the end of April 2021, there were 1.53 million persons in employment in Croatia, up 0.6% on the month but down 1.2% on the year, while registered unemployment dipped 0.4 percentage points on the month, falling below 9% for the first time in six months, according to the national statistical office.

At the end of April 2021, 148,744 persons were registered with the Croatian Employment Service, down 4.4% on the month and 6.6% on the year. The registered unemployment rate for April was 8.9%, the lowest since September 2020.

Raiffeisen Bank analysts say that is a direct consequence of the decrease in the number of persons registered as jobless and the simultaneous increase in the active population (1,675,699).

The expected recovery of economic activity will have a limited positive effect on employment indicators given that the government mitigated with a set of measures the unfavourable trends on the labour market during the strong economic downturn last year and at the beginning of this year, the analysts say.

Therefore we expect a mild drop in registered unemployment to below 9% this year, while the survey unemployment rate could drop to 7%, they add.

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Saturday, 6 March 2021

3 in 4 Croats Aged 20 to 64 to be in Work Under 2030 Employment Target

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - Croatia's 2030 employment target is to have 75% of adults in work, and currently only two thirds  (66%) of the adult population are employed, the Večernji List daily reported on Saturday.

The current Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union is organising a summit meeting on social affairs in May, and the EU is supposed to endorse new goals in this sector which should be accomplished until the end of this decade.

One of the goals is that at least 78 of 100 people aged 20 to 64 should be in employment by the end of this decade.

Three of four Croats aged between 20-64 to be employed

It is up to each member state to define its targets, and Zagreb plans to have three fifths people in the 20-64 age cohort in employment until 2030. For this target to be met, the country should create new 200,000 jobs in the coming years.

Currently, only Greece and Italy fare worse than Croatia in this regard, where only three fifths of adults (60%) are employed.

Sweden tops the EU ranking with 82 out of 100 adults being employed, and Germany follows with 80%.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

EU Unemployment Stable in January, Croatia Below EU Average

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - The unemployment rate in the European Union and the euro area remained stable in January 2021 compared with the previous month, while in Croatia it slid below the EU average, a Eurostat report showed on Thursday.

The EU unemployment rate was 7.3% in January 2021, stable compared with December 2020 and up from 6.6% in January 2020. The euro area rate was 8.1%, also stable compared with December 2020 and up from 7.4% in January 2020.

A total of 15.663 million people in the EU were unemployed in January 2021, including 13.282 million in the euro area. Compared with December 2020, their number increased by 29,000 in the EU and by 8,000 in the euro area. Compared with January 2020, unemployment rose by 1.465 million in the EU and by 1.010 million in the euro area.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, of 16%, while all other member states had unemployment rates of below 10%. The lowest rates were registered in Poland (3.1%), the Czech Republic (3.2%) and the Netherlands (3.6%).

In Croatia, the unemployment rate in January 2021 was 7.1%, down from 7.6% in December 2020. A total of 126,000 Croatians were out of work in January, or 9,000 fewer than in the previous month. In January 2020, the unemployment rate in Croatia was 6%, with 107,000 people out of work.

No data was available for Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy and Romania.

Youth unemployment unchanged

The EU youth unemployment rate remained at 16.9% in January 2021, unchanged from December 2020. The euro area rate was 17.1%, down from 18.5% in the previous month.

In January 2021, a total of 2.929 million young people were unemployed in the EU, including 2.356 million in the euro area. Compared with December 2020, their number increased by 3,000 in the EU and decreased by 15,000 in the euro area. Compared with January 2020, their number rose by 184,000 in the EU and by 89,000 in the euro area.

The highest youth unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, of 39.9%, ahead of Portugal (24.6%) and Sweden (24.1%). The lowest rates were registered in Germany (6.2%), the Netherlands (9.1%) and Austria (9.7%). 

In Croatia, which is not required to provide monthly data on youth unemployment, the youth unemployment rate in the last quarter of 2020 was 22.2%, with 31,000 young people out of work.

Friday, 22 January 2021

First Fortnight of 2021 Sees 4000 More Unemployed Croatian Residents

January the 22nd, 2021 - Employment has never carried any positive connotations with it when it comes to Croatia, sadly. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, the number of unemployed Croatian residents has only increased.

As Novac/Marina Klepo, the coronavirus pandemic has caused profound and probably permanent changes to the labour market, the collapse of certain sectors, the rise of new ones and increasingly widespread work from home trends. Going back to our old ways, many experts believe, is just a misconception because the pandemic has fundamentally changed companies and workers in almost all countries. The International Labour Organisation warned recently that the huge job losses "creates a fiscal gap that could further deepen inequality between richer and poorer countries." When state aid is excluded, he warns, labour income fell by 10.7 percent in the first three quarters of last year compared to the same period back in 2019. It remains to be seen what will happen once state aid measures expire. What is Croatia doing in this new world of work, and just how many unemployed Croatian residents have been counted?

Construction and communication

Ten months after the beginning of the crisis, says Iva Tomic, chief economist of the Croatian Employers' Association, we can conclude that not much has changed yet, despite announcements of a complete change in the functioning and appearance of the labour market as we know it.

The total number of insured persons, those who pay pension contributions, according to HZMO, at the end of December amounted to 1,536,300 persons, which is only 0.6 percent (8892 persons) less than in December 2019. The average number of insured persons during the year, on the other hand, was 1.2 percent or 17,940 persons less than the year before. There was a significant increase in the construction and information and communication sectors, while, as expected, the number of insured persons decreased the most in the accommodation, hospitality and catering sector.

"This situation on the Croatian labour market is largely a consequence of the introduction of support for job preservation, because the co-financing of part or all of the salaries by the state certainly enabled those companies that found themselves in a bad situation due to the coronavirus crisis to keep their workers," Tomic said.

In the first months of the pandemic-induced crisis of 2020, more than one third of all Croatian employees used government aid, and a certain percentage still depends on this aid, in November there were 120 thousand such people.

However, the number of unemployed Croatian residents is increasing, and on January the 15th, 163,807 people were registered at the Croatian Employment Service, 3,962 more than were registered in December. Back at the end of 2020, 28,000 people were out of work, or 21 percent more than a year earlier. Although we don't yet know the structure of the increase in the number of unemployed Croatian residents in the first two weeks of January, Tomic says that it is very possible that certain companies concluded earlier this year that they couldn't manage to keep all of their workers or even some of them, and as such simply decided to shut down.


''It's possible that certain companies, despite the state aid, just won't be able to maintain business operations, which means certain layoffs in 2021. So far, there are no indications of a significant closure of companies or a larger dismissal of workers, although at the beginning of this year, the number of unemployed Croatian residents began to grow significantly,'' explains Tomic.

However, the concrete consequences of the coronavirus crisis, he adds, could be realised only after the expiration of the current state aid measures, which, in addition to aid for job preservation, includes the possibility of covering fixed costs, but also delays and write-offs of certain state benefits and moratoriums on loans. According to the chief economist of HUP, this could primarily be "suffered'' by companies in the service industries, which are most affected by the pandemic, and production isn't exempt from the impact of the crisis either, given that it depends not only on domestic but also on foreign demand.

On the other hand, the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the process of the digitalisation of business, and the demand for workers in the information and communication sector is expected to continue, as it likely will in regard to construction workers, given that part of infrastructure investments are "pending" due to the recent earthquakes in Sisak-Moslavina, as well as the one which hit Zagreb in March 2020.

As a slightly better tourist season is expected this year than what was experienced last year, the growth of demand for workers in that sector is also somewhat more likely.

An adequate workforce

What could prove to be a problem is labour shortages in those sectors where there will be a need for new employment. In a survey conducted by HUP among its members at the end of last year, almost a fifth (19 percent) of respondents believe that the biggest challenge in doing business in 2021 will be the lack of adequate labour in the Croatian labour market. The list of deficit occupations adopted by the CES Board last week also suggests that there is a shortage of workers in the domestic labour market in the sectors that currently employ the most people - construction and ICT.

As the coronavirus crisis has significantly affected changes in business organisation on the whole, one of the lasting consequences, it seems, will be increased teleworking. When asked where you work during the coronavirus crisis, according to a Eurofund survey in June and July, almost 31.5 percent of Croats answered that they work from home. Before the crisis, only 1.4 percent of employees worked from home, while the EU average stood at 5.2 percent.

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Monday, 11 January 2021

HZZ: Nearly 160,000 Jobless People in Croatia at End of December

ZAGREB, 11 January, 2021 - There were 159,845 jobless people registered with the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) at the end of December, or 28,092, that is 21.3%, more than in December 2019, HZZ data shows.

Unemployment increased on the month too with 3,295 more people out of work or 2.1% compared to November 2020.

Daily data indicates that unemployment is continuing to increase in January 2021 too and currently there are 161,768 people registered as unemployed which is 1,923 more than at the end of December. 

HZZ currently has 5,459 vacancies advertised.

Unemployment continued to increase by more than 20% on the year in December but it slowed down to 21.3% compared to 21.9% registered in November y-o-y.

22.1% of jobless persons receive unemployment benefits in December

According to HZZ data in December 2020, there were 35,388 people on the dole, or 22.1% of all those unemployed,  or 59 more people (0.2%) y-o-y.

HZZ continued implementing job-retention measures in December for those businesses affected by the COVID pandemic however, eligibility criteria was changed. The number of workers who received job-retention grants in December amounted to 96,179  persons hired by 25,493 employers, HZZ reported.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

EC to Review Possible Macroeconomic Imbalances in Croatia again

ZAGREB, Nov 18, 2020 - Croatia entered the COVID-19 crisis with vulnerabilities linked to the government, private sector, and external debt in a context of low potential growth, so the European Commission on Wednesday again recommended making an in-depth review to estimate macroeconomic imbalances.

In the Alert Mechanism Report, a screening device to detect potential macroeconomic imbalances, the Commission recommends that in-depth reviews to identify and assess the severity of possible macroeconomic imbalances should be prepared in 2021 for the same 12 member states that had already been identified as having imbalances or excessive imbalances in February 2020.

Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden have imbalances, while Cyprus, Greece, and Italy have excessive imbalances.

"With the COVID-19 crisis, debt ratios and unemployment are expected to increase. Overall, the Commission finds it opportune, also taking into account the identification of an imbalance in February, to examine further the persistence of imbalances or their unwinding," the report says about Croatia.

For several years until 2019, Croatia had excessive macroeconomic imbalances. In February of that year, the Commission established that the imbalances were no longer excessive.

Croatia's considerably negative net international investment position "continued improving in 2019 and the current account surplus increased towards 3% of GDP. Risks to external sustainability are alleviated by the relatively large share of FDI (foreign direct investment) in total foreign liabilities. The current account balance is expected to turn negative in 2020, much on account of the weak tourism," the Commission says in the latest report.

"The private sector debt ratio continued declining in 2019. The large share of debt remains denominated in foreign currency generating exchange rate risk," the Commission says.

"Real house price growth accelerated in 2019 to above 8%, supported by the accelerating growth in mortgage lending... House price growth is forecast to decelerate in light of the COVID-19 crisis."

"Government debt continued declining to a still relatively high 73% of GDP in 2019. In 2020 it is forecast to rise by more than 15 pps. due to the sharp economic downturn and measures to support the economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the report.

"The banking sector is characterized by moderate profitability and relatively strong capitalization, but also relatively high, though declining, NPLs (non-performing loans). NPLs are likely to increase once government support measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis have been phased out."

"The unemployment rate reached an all-time low of 6.6% in 2019, accompanied by strong decreases in both long-term and youth unemployment. However, unemployment is forecast to increase with the current crisis," the Commission says.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Unemployment Slightly Increased in EU in July, Decreased in Croatia

ZAGREB, September 1, 2020 - In July 2020, unemployment slightly increased in the European Union and the euro area, while it slightly decreased in Croatia, according to a report by Eurostat on Tuesday.

The seasonally-adjusted EU unemployment rate increased to 7.2% in July 2020, up from 7.1% in June 2020 and 6.7% in July 2019.

The euro area unemployment rate was up by 0.2 percentage points to 7.9%, an increase also compared to 7.5% in July last year.

A total of 15.184 million persons were unemployed in July in the EU, including 12.893 million persons in the euro area. Compared to June, the number of persons unemployed went up by 336,000 in the EU and by 344,000 in the euro area.


Croatia's unemployment rate above European average

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Croatia was 8.6% in July, remaining above the EU and euro area average. The unemployment rate went down by 0.2 pp compared to June, but rose compared to July 2019, when it was 6.6%.

In July 2020, there were 157,000 jobless persons in Croatia, which is 4,000 fewer than in June 2020, but 39,000 more than in July last year.

The highest unemployment rates were registered in Spain (15.8%), Italy (9.7%) and Sweden (9.4%).

The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate in the EU (2.7%).

Out of the 27 member states, the data for three of them -- Estonia, Greece and Hungary -- were not available.


Slight increase in youth unemployment

In July 2020, a total of 2.906 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, including 2.338 million in the euro area. Compared to July last year, the number of young persons unemployed went up by 37,000 in the EU and by 29,000 in the euro area.

The youth unemployment rate grew to 17% in July this year, up from 16.9% in June. It also increased by 2 pp compared to July last year.

In the euro area, the youth unemployment rate was 17.3% in July, up by 0.1 pp compared to June and by 1.7 pp compared to July 2019.


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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Croatia Among EU Countries with Highest Increases in Jobless

ZAGREB, July 2, 2020 - In May 2020, Croatia was among five EU member states with the highest increase in unemployment compared to April, the EU's statistical office, Eurostat, said in a report on Thursday, reflecting the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many European countries are trying to prevent job losses with special job keeping measures or forced leave or a shorter working week.

At the same time governments have started gradually relieving lockdown measures and enterprises have begun operating and employing again.

Eurostat underscored that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented situation on the labour market so that additional indicators will be included in future reports including employment, under-employment and potential additional stakeholders on the labour market.

In today's report Eurostat notes that the EU's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in May was 6.7%, equal to May 2019. In April unemployment was 6.6%.

A total of 14.366 million men and women in the EU were unemployed in May 2020. Compared to April that number increased by 253,000. 

Croatia alongside Lithuania and Latvia

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Croatia in May was 8.9% or 0.8 percentage points higher than in April.

A total of 164,000 Croatians were out of work in May or 16,000 more than in April and 44,000 more than in May 2019.

Croatia is alongside Lithuania and Latvia which too recorded an increase in unemployment in May of 0.8 percentage points.

Cyprus recorded the biggest increase in unemployment (+1.3 p.p.). 

The lowest unemployment rates in May were recorded in Spain (14.5%) followed by Cyprus (10.2%).

The marked rise in youth unemployment

In May 2020, 2.815 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU.

In May 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 15.7% in the EU, up from 15.4% in the previous month. Compared with April 2020, youth unemployment increased by 64,000 in the EU. 

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