The Slovenia Times

Employment Outlook For 2013 Pessimistic


"Joblessness will not decrease in the final month of the year as this is the month that usually sees a rise in the number of registrations by those whose fixed-term contracts expired, and hiring tends decline," the Employment Service projects.

The registered jobless total was just below 111,500 in November, while the latest available unemployment rate figure is 12.1% for October.

Given the uncertain situation on the labour market, the Employment Service expects little improvement in unemployment trends in 2013. It estimates the number of people out of work to increase to around 117,000 by the end of next year.

The outlook for hiring is poor too. The latest survey by the temping agency Manpower shows that employers are pessimistic about hiring in the first quarter of 2013 with the net employment outlook at a record low -9% (the margin between those expecting growth and those expecting a drop in employment).

Nearly one fifth of the employers surveyed by Manpower projected that they would reduce the number of employees in the first quarter of 2013. Employment prospects are the poorest in the public sector and social services as a result of government austerity measures, and in construction.

Demand for workers hit this year's bottom in November. The Employment Service registered nearly 30% fewer vacancies than in October and more than 20% fewer than in November 2011.

The Office for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) expects an even bigger decrease in the number of jobs next year in line with its forecast of a further drop in the country's economic output.

Slovenia's GDP contracted at annual rate of 3.3% in the third quarter in real terms. Data for the final quarter of the year are not available yet, but a simulation by the Statistics Office shows that, given a contraction similar to those in the previous quarters, the economy will have shrunk by 2.4% in 2012.

IMAD has forecast a 2% contraction for this year, to be followed by a further 1.4% drop next year. The central bank has projected a contraction of 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively, while the Chamber of Commerce and Economy (GZS) expects the output to collapse by 2.5% this year, and another 1.7% in 2013.

The labour market as a rule adjusts to a shift in economic activity with a delay, which is why IMAD does not expect an improvement until 2015, to follow a moderate economic growth projected for 2014.

Meanwhile, negotiations on labour market reform continue although the government had initially hoped to implement it as of the beginning of 2013.

After three months of talks, the initially proposed draft reform has changed a lot, but the employers and trade unions are still wide apart on all key issues.


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