Thursday, 26 May 2022

Croatian Construction Industry Doomed to Import Labour Long-Term?

May the 26th, 2022 - Is the Croatian construction industry simply doomed to have to import foreign (non-EEA) labour as an attempted long-term strategy to keep things afloat?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, there are fewer and fewer ''homegrown'' workers in the Croatian construction industry, and an increasing number of foreign workers on construction sites pose a number of challenges to the companies that hire them, according to the panel discussion "Challenges of the workforce" which was held in Zagreb recently.

Dragutin Kamenski, the director of the very well known company Kamgrad, pointed out that if the country successfully removed all other challenges that the Croatian construction industry is currently facing, and only the lack of manpower remaind, we'd still be in trouble.

A very complex process

"Now, the state has begun to take steps to facilitate labour migration, but it remains to be a very complex process because it requires additional efforts in bringing and introducing a new workforce to a particular company, as well as additional organisation and costs. As there is no additional base for recruiting labour here in Croatia, it's clear that in the long run we're doomed to importing foreign construction workers under any conditions,'' said Kamenski, adding that so far, they have had all kinds of situations with agencies that bring in foreign workers arise.

"Recently, a large number of agencies have appeared that bring in foreign labour, and time will show which ones are good and bring in high quality workers, and which aren't. If you end up with inadequate workers, it raises your costs and you're less competitive overall,'' Kamenski pointed out.

Based on his own many years of experience, he stated that in fact the best workers were those who did their training within large construction systems, and then eventually moved to smaller companies such as Kamgrad.

However, he is aware that is now rapidly becoming a thing of the past and that such workers no longer exist, and that now the focus should be on developing the Croatian construction industry's workers here in the country, and even more on selecting and introducing a foreign worker and then educating and introducing them to the whole process.

“Technical staff without knowledge of the Croatian language can only do a small range of work. We employ 10-15 trainees a year, of which only one or two remain,'' concluded Kamenski. Danijel Risek, the director of Hidroing, pointed out that they're a relatively small company that didn't have any major needs for the import of foreign labour, and what they did experience had a focus on nearby Kosovo.

“We're too small a company to go into the process of finding a workforce on our own, so we're referred to agencies. It's important to have a correct relationship with such agencies so that they know exactly what we need,'' said Risek. Stjepan Jagodin, the director of Pinoy385, a company specialising in the employment of Filipino workers, said that there are currently more than 300 agencies across the Republic of Croatia registered for employment mediation.

"An unregulated market leads to a situation where everyone comes to us, without any selections and conditions, and then the problem is that companies that hire such workers. In tourism, there are precise conditions that you must have and know in order to open an agency, and employment mediation can be done by anyone. That must be regulated urgently,'' Jagodin said.

Knowledge of the market

Ana Jadresin from the Manpower Group pointed out that it takes time for the market for mediation in the employment of foreign workers to be profiled. "Agencies that deal with employment mediation, be they domestic or foreign, must have a good knowledge of the market and the needs of their clients - what exactly companies need, what qualifications are necessary, what level of digital literacy there is, etc.

The problem is often that the client himself doesn't know what kind of workers he needs and what qualifications will be necessary, so it becomes difficult to meet their expectations. On the other hand, it's pointless to give unrealistic promises to foreign workers about a country with rivers full of milk and honey, because that only leads to frustration,'' stated Jadresin.

The issue faced by the Croatian construction industry isn't something new. The demographic crisis the country has been in for a very long time now has been a gradual drain on labour across all fields, even with the tourism sector, otherwise the country's strongest economic branch, also suffering tremendously. The Ministry of the Interior's infamously drawn out and draconian procedures often result in employers not getting work permits approved for their foreign staff in time, resulting in the dire need for a rethink.

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

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).

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

Monday, 23 May 2022

German Media Takes Swipe at Croatian Labour Market Struggles

May the 23rd, 2022 - Croatian labour market struggles are continuing as we hurtle rapidly towards the height of the summer season, and the German media has had a say in just what this country continues to do wrong year after year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, it is estimated that approximately 35,000 waiters, chefs, waiters, receptionists and other profiles within the tourism industry will be missing this summer. But the most striking fact is that the complaints of catering and hospitality employers are somehow always accompanied by some weird (and misplaced) sense of surprise. Everyone is surprised in a certain way, every single year, although we can certainly expect the same situation next year as well.

There's no big riddle to try and solve here. Croats typically head off to the western EU countries en masse during their working lives, because their salaries in Croatia are too low. There's not much of a labour force to speak of in Slavonia, the population of which literally flows down into the Adriatic during the summer months. There is also a huge lack in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia... The pool of personnel in Croatia's immediate neighbourhood has also been somewhat exhausted, so more and more people are reaching for tourism staff from distant Asia, as was the case earlier on in the Croatian construction sector with workers being imported into the country from Nepal, the Philippines, India, etc, writes Deutsche Welle.

The same head-scratching and shock is repeated year after year...

Wages have, on balance, risen slightly, but obviously not by enough, but employers say they have no options at their disposal to raise them even more. They also claim that they aren't in a position to raise anything else because of ongoing inflation, so one can often hear objections from the state to offering any further help. Damir Kresic, the director of the Institute for Tourism in Zagreb, spoke about this to DW:

"The state could definitely do something else, but not without working with employers and with the unions - first to develop a strategy for the whole economy. In doing so, they could answer the question of how many workers Croatia actually needs and from which professions. For years, I've been warning people in vain about this problem in tourism. But our approach is a yearly spontaneous one, and the amazement is the same every time, although the problem hasn't changed. We're really shocked by it each time, for some reason,''

Kresic then went on to explain that the solution lies in the long-term preparation of the education system, after defining sectoral needs. In addition, the Croatian labour market needs to be further regulated, so that workers receive adequate remuneration for their work, instead of a situation in which many prefer to accept income under the table, cash in hand, or simply work "on the black market", because that way they get more to play with.

After all, if it's only three or four months of work a year, there can be no question of stable employment and a strategic solution for anyone's existence. Then it would be logical for workers to go to Ireland for equal pay, but for permanent employment, let alone twice as much money in their pockets.

"Among other things, we faced certain shortcomings in the engagement of the Asian workforce in Croatian tourism. It turns out that they aren't a good solution for our employers in that sector, but now we don't have many choices, at least not for this and next season. At the same time, I have nothing against these people from another continent, so let me be clear. They can be more diligent or honest workers than us, there are no rules, so I'm not talking about that. The problem is the service industry in which the Croatian worker here always offers a better authentic experience,'' says Kresic.

In a similar way, a Croatian receptionist or waitress wouldn't be a more successful worker in the Philippines than a person from there. He went on to explain that tourism simply means contact, local experience, understanding of the context, cultural integration. "That's why we need planned staff production with adequate conditions to keep hold of people on the Croatian labour market, of course, because otherwise we'll be training them in vain,'' he concluded.

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

Friday, 20 May 2022

Lack of Croatian Labour Causing Huge Issues for Tourism Employers

May the 20th, 2022 - The lacking Croatian labour force and the situation of just ''not being able to get the staff'' is having a seriously negative effect on tourism employers across the country. Some are having to close their doors.

We recently wrote about the Croatian tourism sector lacking enormous numbers of workers for the rapidly approaching summer tourist season, and it seems that the situation is being felt up and down the country in areas which would usually be rubbing their hands in excitement for a decent post-pandemic season.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Northern Adriatic region of Kvarner has always been among the tourist champions, but now it is among those in the worst situation in terms of a total lack of Croatian labour. Nikola, a local restaurant owner, had to close one of his restaurants in Rijeka because he had no one to employ to work there, which is absolutely disastrous considering the sheer importance of the tourism sector for the Croatian economy and the nation's overall GDP.

"Every now and then someone would leave, they'd receive immoral offers both in terms of working for the summer season, as well as for some other variants of employment. They'd leave Croatia, there would be a huge amount of dissatisfaction among workers and we were simply forced to close our doors, we could not stay open and run properly with only half the number of workers we need,'' said the president of the National Association of Caterers, Nikola Eterovic.

Some are also trying to patch things up in more innovative ways. Although he is the owner, Nikola also works as a waiter himself to try to make things run smoothly in his facility.

Most of the facilities that have operated before, will open this year, but the thing is that they will work with a reduced number of staff and an inadequately educated workforce, which can only result in poorer service and less customer satisfaction.

The Croatian labour market has been depleted owing to demographic trends, and the procedures enforced by MUP are still too complicated and go on for too long when it comes to trying to hire foreign (non EEA) workers from neighbouring countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, RTL writes.

"In some places, work permits are waited on for three to four weeks, and in some places we have the situation in which employers are forced to wait for MUP to deal with their request to hire foreigners for four to five months,'' warned the director of the Croatian Tourism Association, Veljko Ostojic.

For more on the Croatian labour force, or the lack of it, check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 13 May 2022

20% Less People Registered with Croatian Employment Service in April

May the 13th, 2022 - The number of individuals registered as unemployed at the Croatian Employment Service dropped by an encouraging 20 percent back in April, which, while hope giving, occurs annually due to Croatia's seasonality when it comes to labour.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, back the end of April this year, 118,922 unemployed persons were registered officially in the records of the Croatian Employment Service (CES), which is a decrease of 5.3 percent on a monthly basis and 20 percent on an annual basis, according to the Croatian Emplotment Service's data.

April is the third month in a row in which the number of unemployed people across the Republic of Croatia continued to fall on a monthly basis, and when compared to March, there are 6,682 fewer of them registered with the aforementioned institution.

The Croatian Employment Service's data shows that, under the influence of the typical seasonal trends which take place annually on the Croatian labour market with regard to the needs of the tourism sector and preparations for the height of the summer tourist season, this marked decline in the number of unemployed people will more than likely continue throughout the month of May.

Namely, 114,163 unemployed persons are currently registered at the Croatian Employment Service, which is 4,759 people less than were registered there back at the end of April. Currently, 23,024 vacancies have been announced at the Croatian Employment Service, and their statistics show that the number of registered unemployed people decreased by 29,822 per year.

During April this year, a total of 11,421 people were newly registered in the unemployment register, which represents 3.1 percent more than were registered back in April last year.

At the same time, 69.7 percent of newly registered individuals (equal to 7,960 people) came to the Institute directly from their previous employment. In April, most people came directly from the manufacturing industry - 1,205 people (15.1 percent).

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

Monday, 9 May 2022

What Will Average Croatian Wage and Pension be in Eurozone?

May the 9th, 2022 - With Eurozone entry rapidly approaching and due at the very beginning of next year, just what will the average Croatian wage and pension be? It seems an increase is on the cards.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, when Croatia introduces the euro at the beginning of 2023, the average Croatian wage (net salary) will stand at around 900 euros, and an average pension will stand at around 320 euros, considering the fact that due to ongoing inflation, personal incomes and pensions across Croatia could increase slightly before the changeover from the kuna to the euro anyway.

If we take in some information and consider it relevant data on the average net salary across the EU back in 2021, which amounted to 1916 euros per month, it means that the average Croatian salary needs to be about a thousand euros to reach the EU average. In nearby Austria, the average net salary last year was 2053 euros, and in Belgium - an impressive 2091 euros.

In Bulgaria, the average net income last year was 413 euros, and the average Croatian wage was 797 euros, while the neighbouring Slovenians received an average of 1,038 euros per month back in 2021, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

The Czechs were doing slightly better than the Croats were with a typical net salary of 813 euros, and the Danes were much better, with 3,100 euros, placing them at the very top of the European Union (EU). They are closely followed by the Swedes with a salary of 3062 euros.

The Estonians are also better paid than Croats typically are, with an average salary of 958 euros net, with the Latvians and Lithuanians being weaker with 648 euros and 645 euros respectively. The people of Cyprus receive an excellent 1,658 euros, and Malta also earns well from the Croatian perspective, with an average Maltese wage being about 2261 euros per month.

They are followed by rich EU countries: Finland with 2509 euros, France with 2157 euros and Germany with 2270 euros as an average salary.

The average Greek earns 917 euros, a Portuguese worker 846, a Pole 736, a Slovak 690, and a Hungarian 683 euros. Over in Romania, the average net salary is only 522 euros, meaning that only the Bulgarians are the poorest in the EU.

The average net salary in Italy is 1,762 euros, and in neighbouring Spain 1,718 euros. The real "heavyweights" are the Icelanders with 3435 euros and the Luxembourgers with 3009 euros, followed by the Irish with 2479 euros and the Dutch with 2263 euros.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Could Revising Student Earnings Limit Solve Croatian Labour Issue?

May the 7th, 2022 - The continuing issues faced by the Croatian labour force (or lack of it, to be more precise) could be solved by altering a current law and increasing the limit on how much students are allowed to earn without them, or usually their parents, facing tax issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, irritated employers have rightly pointed out that the income threshold after which the right to tax relief is lost for students is much too low, and that raising it would encourage students to not only seek out employment, but to be willing to work more. Therefore, they've suggested that the threshold be raised to 30,000 kuna, with different treatment if the taxpayer (their parent) has more children. This could solve the problems faced by the Croatian labour market, particularly when it comes to seasonal and tourism employment.

According to tportal, this initiative from the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) is also being strongly supported by the president of the Croatian Tourism Association, Veljko Ostojic, who very formly believes that the greater engagement of students in seasonal jobs in the tourism sector would reduce the need for the import of foreign labour, and the administrative issues and ridiculous waiting times for work permits that come with that.

''We've proposed to the Government that the non-taxable income limit for dependent members be raised to 30,000 kuna. We believe that in this way, a significant number of people would be activated on the Croatian labour market,'' Ostojic said.

Student work is otherwise regulated by the Student Affairs Act, and the current law on that has been in force since November 2018.

Students are employed through authorised intermediaries, which can be student centres or higher education institutions that have a centre for student standards, provided that they have received approval from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to conduct mediation activities. The law also regulates the minimum hourly wage, which is calculated by dividing the amount of the minimum gross salary by 160. The hourly wage is adjusted once a year, and for 2022 it amounts to 29.30 kuna.

Altering this and increasing the amount students are free to earn without facing issues from the tax man would not only put a gradual stop to importing non-resident staff, but put the Croatian labour market in a far better position when it comes to the height of the summer season, when good staff are increasingly difficult to come by for would-be employers.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

MP Katarina Peovic Says Minimum Croatian Wage Should be 10,000 Kuna

May the 5th, 2022 - MP Katarina Peovic believes that in order to comfortable cover all costs of living, from rent to loan repayments to food, utility bills and everything else that might come up from month to month, the minimum Croatian wage should be 10,000 kuna per month.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Workers' Front MP Katarina Peovic was a guest in the Newsroom on N1 television recently, where she commented on the changes made to the Labour Law.

"It started all being talked about because at the beginning of the pandemic, the Government wanted to suspend a good part of the Labour Law. Various unions from across Europe reacted to that, so Plenkovic instead decided to do it step by step and Minister Aladrovic was given the task of coming up with a new Labour Law which would include suspensions under the justification of regulating work from home,'' said MP Katarina Peovic, adding:

"This has been being done in secret and in non-transparent conditions for a year and a half now. What comes out of it isn't good - to have more flexibility in terms of working hours, the workplace, but to the detriment of the employees themselves. It's criminal that we received the draft law without the Government ever having made it public. I'll state without hesitation what we've seen. If an employee is unable to meet something introduced in the draft (such as having to deal with unpredictable working hours), then they will be allowed to switch to part-time work, especially if they're in a situation like needing to care for a child, an elderly person or someone who isn't well,'' Peovic said.

"We suggest shortening the working week down from 40 to 35 working hours"

Asked what the most important emphases we can take from this are, and what the changes that will bring better conditions for workers about are, MP Katarina Peovic said: "First, the most important thing is to arrange the institute of temporary work. We were the first in all of Europe in terms of having rather precarious and non-standard employment contracts, now we're in second place. This is a plague in this country, about 21% of people are working on fixed-term contracts. We've proposed that the three-year limit be reduced to one year. Secondly, we propose shortening the working week from 40 down to 35 working hours. Croats work more than the European average, around 10 hours more than the Dutch do per week.

"The definition of a basic salary is important. Workers working for minimum wage work overtime and even on Sundays in order to reach the minimum wage, which is completely unacceptable," she added.

"Our average salary is at the level of the Slovenian minimum"

She pointed out that she often agrees with the ruling party when it comes to detecting the problem, but not when it comes to proposing a proper and working solution: "If there is one topic that should connect the left-leaning parties, then it's the topic of work. We've been following Croatia's race to the absolute bottom for decades. We have over 800,000 able-bodied people who are unemployed. We're a country that has no solution for almost a million able-bodied people. Such a country cannot prosper. We cannot reduce ourselves to tourism alone. Our average salary is at the Slovenian minimum level, and our cost of living is no higher than that of Slovenia.''

MP Katarina Peovic also revealed what the Croatian minimum wage according to the research should be:

"The new union conducted an in-depth research and stated that the minimum wage that could cover all living expenses should be over 10 thousand kuna."

For more, make sure to check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Fancy Becoming a Croatian Lighthouse Keeper? Now You Can!

April the 12th, 2022 - Ever fancied getting away for a bit to somewhere isolated and idyllic and just collecting your thoughts? Becoming a Croatian lighthouse keeper may offer you all of that, and the ability to not go totally insane by being able to spend some time at home, too.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the company “Plovput” from Split has announced a competition for the position of a Croatian lighthouse keeper at the position of Sveti Ivan na Pučini, close to Rovinj in Istria. Although many would like to find themselves in this role today, one should know that this is actuallt really specific and distinctive profession, and that there are only about thirty people qualified for this job left on the Adriatic today.

The salary paid to a Croatian lighthouse keeper is between 6 and 7 thousand kuna per month, according to Morski.hr. It's also quite convenient that the successful applican't won't have to spend months at a time looking after the lighthouse, but will instead be there at their workplace for 15 days, and they can then be at home for another 15 days.

However, the lighthouse keeper will have to take care of all their necessities and will have to prepare well for their stay on a lonely cliff out on the Croatian Adriatic, counting on the fact that they might have to stay a few days longer due to the nature of the job. Not to mention the unpredictable elements.

In the description of the Croatian lighthouse keeper's workplace, Plovput, among other things, states the control of the nautical characteristics of the lighthouse, the main light and the backlight, the fog siren and control of all maritime signalling objects in sight, as well as the manual activation of the fog siren in case of automatic failure in visibility less than 1000 metres.

On top of that, they'll have to be in charge of the maintenance of all of the devices and equipment for navigation safety, they'll need to participate in search and rescue operations at sea, record for the Radio Journal of meteorological data of the State Hydrometeorological Institute for the purpose of correct invoicing, and prepare and submit meteorological reports to both DHMZ and Plovput.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Croatian Wages Paid Per Hour Fall Very Short of European Union Average

April the 1st, 2022 - Croatian wages paid per hour rather unsurprisingly fall short of the European Union (EU) average, even with state benefits included in the final sum.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the price of an hour of work, which includes state benefits, stood at a mere 11.2 euros back in 2021, according to a report which looked into the matter by Lider.

The survey, conducted at the level of the European Union, showed just how below Croatian wages paid by hour are when compared to the general European Union average, given that the average cost of labour in the EU stood at 29.1 euros, and 32.8 euros in the Eurozone.

It isn't remotely encouraging that the Republic of Croatia has found itself in an extremely unimpressive fifth place on the list. As in fifth from the end, not from the beginning. In the EU, Latvia has lower labour costs than Croatia does, with costs of 11.1 euros, in neighbouring Hungary, the same costs stand at 10.4 euros, in Romania, the somewhat infamous 8.5 euros remains so, and last on the list comes Bulgaria, where the cost of an hour of work it costs a mere seven euros.

At the same time, Western countries, with which Croatia often likes to (rather unrealistically) compare itself to, are somewhat different.

The highest labour costs can be found in Denmark, where an hour of work costs a far, far higher 46.9 euros. Right behind it are Luxembourg, with 43 euros, Belgium, with 41.6 euros, and then France, the Netherlands and Sweden, with just under 40 euros per hour.

Austria, Germany and Ireland, countries where Croats often head to with hopes of a more stable economic situation and better prospects, are among the best in the European Union when we look at how much employers have to spend in order to have workers.

In Austria, the price of an hour of work stands at 37.5 euros, in Germany it is negligibly lower - 37.2 euros - and Ireland follows them closely with 33.5 euros per hour of labour.

For more on Croatian wages, the domestic economy and working in Croatia, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

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