Employment expectations nearing pre-Covid levels

Ljubljana – The jobless total increased by 12% in 2020 compared to 2019 as the Covid-19 epidemic affected the labour market. However, the employment expectations indicator is rising and nearing the level recorded at the start of 2020, the Statistics Office said ahead of Labour Day.

Some 85% of those in employment had permanent employment contracts, whereas some 5% worked in precarious employment, show data recently released by the office.

The unemployment rate grew to 5% in 2020 after a few years of a downward trend. The figure was the highest in the 15-29 age group (almost 10%).

The hospitality sector, which has been severely hit by the epidemic, saw a 15% drop in its workforce in January 2021 year-on-year. In a category that comprises various business activities, including travel agencies, the decrease was 8%, whereas in culture, entertainment and recreational activities the number of employees was reduced by 5% at the annual level.

Meanwhile, certain sectors saw an increase in workforce, such as healthcare and social care services (up by 5%) and information and communication services (3%).

Teleworking has become more widespread across certain sectors due to the epidemic. A total of 17% worked from home last year, up by two percentage points compared to previous years when 15% worked remotely usually or sometimes.

More than 10,800 foreigners from Slovenia’s neighbouring countries worked in Slovenia in 2020, including over 4,600 daily migrant workers. Some 3,300 came from Croatia and over 1,000 from Italy.

Despite the precarious situation in the labour market, the latest projections are optimistic, the Statistics Office said, noting that even services worst hit by Covid-19 last year had been gradually recovering.

Some 38% of construction companies said in April they expected employment growth in the coming months. 21% of companies in manufacturing and the services sector and 18% of retailers agreed.

On the other hand, three quarters of consumers expect unemployment growth in the coming months.