The Slovenia Times

Joblessness keeps falling to new lows

Economy
Ljubljana
Construction workers.
Photo: Daniel Novakovi─Ź/STA

Slovenia's unemployment keeps falling with the number of people registered for being out of a job hitting a new low for the fourth month running in June. Demand for workers remains strong.

The Employment Service had 46,178 people on the unemployment register at the end of June, 2.1% fewer than the month before and 14.3% fewer than a year ago. It is the lowest figure on record since 1990, that is before the country went independent.

In June alone, 4,010 registered as unemployed, which is 0.8% more than in May and 1.5% more than in June last year. Notably, the number of first-job seekers fell by 9.3% to just 313.

Among the 5,018 unemployed people who were deleted from the unemployment roll, 3,138 got a job or became self-employed. The figure is down 5.5% from May and 13.3% lower year-on-year.

Employers reported 15,804 vacancies in June, 7% more than the month before and 7.9% more year-on-year. The biggest demand was in education, construction, healthcare, social care and manufacturing sectors.

Releasing the data at a press conference on 5 July, the Employment Service noted structural discrepancies as one of the main features of the labour market.

The share of hard-to-employ people, such as those aged above 55 and the unemployed with primary education, has been increasing over the past five years.

The long-term unemployed still represent a large proportion of the total, about a half, but their number decreased by 25% in the past year.

Still, demand for workers remains very high, with the Employment Service registering almost 5,000 vacancies on a daily basis.

Greta Metka Barbo Škerbinc, the acting director general of the Employment Service, said that projections for the end of 2023 saw a 2.7% growth in employment, with employers planning up to 36,700 new hirings.

The registered unemployment rate, which is measured with a slight delay, was at 5% in May, down 0.9 percentage points from April.

Job vacancies expected to decline after 2027

The number of job vacancies is projected to keep increasing until 2027 when it will start to decline, according to a project presented in June by the Employment Service and the Labour Ministry.

Until 2037, new jobs will be available mainly to experts. The economy will demand above all workers with tertiary education or those with secondary school, according to findings from the Skills Forecasting Platform.

The challenges of labour shortages will get more difficult and will be a drag on economic growth, citizens' satisfaction with services, and the competitiveness of the economy, said Gonzalo Caprirolo, head of the ministry's office for analysis and development.

"The project provides key data to tackle these challenges, filling the gap in estimates of future labour market needs or providing information for action," he said.

The inflow of first-time job seekers into the labour market today is for the first time below the number of those who just retired. An increasing share of the labour market needs are met by foreign labour.

The labour supply of workers aged 20-64 will continue to decline and constrain economic growth, Caprirolo said.

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