Slovakia´s unemployment rate reached 5.04% in December 2018, down by 0.05 percentage points (pp) from November and by 0.90 pp year-on-year, according to data published by the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre on January 21. Slovakia´s Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jan Richter (Smer-SD) said that reducing the unemployment rate below 5% will be the challenge for 2019.
Unemployment in the whole of Central Europe has been falling steadily on the back of a economic boom that has been creating a labour shortage in recent years.
The number of Slovak jobseekers able to start work stood at 138,198 in December, down by 1,329 persons month-on-month and by 23,717 y/y. The unemployment rate calculated from the total number of jobseekers stood at 6.19% in December, down by 0.08pp m/m, and by 0.99pp y/y. Labour offices reported 73,890 job vacancies in December, a decrease by 6,604 m/m.
The total number of jobseekers reached 169,802 in December. The office recorded a drop of 2,069 individuals m/m, “while their number went down by 25,781 individuals y/y,” stated the Office general director Marian Valentovic, daily Aktuality.sk reported. Bratislava region recorded the most significant fall but the most number of jobs available. The lowest number of available jobs was posted in Banska Bystrica region.
“The number of extremely long-term unemployed went down by almost one quarter. The number of jobless school-leavers declined as well,” Richter said, adding that the Government wants to continue to regulate and control the employment of people from non-EU countries in Slovakia. He thinks Slovakia should focus on Brexit, which might hit Slovaks working in the UK. “There's also a need to prepare measures in the field of digitisation and robotisation,” he said.
“It seems for now that weaker confidence and economic performance indicators in the euro area didn't have a significant influence on the Slovak labour market in the fourth quarter. This is indicated by relatively stable development of employment, unemployment and the steady pace of salary growth,” said the National Bank of Slovakia analysts, the Slovak News Agency reporting.
“The decline in unemployment was supported by a decline in the influx of new job-seekers and the still relatively stable number of those who found a job. The number of vacancies is still high, although its growth pace is clearly moderating,” they added.