At the end of 1998, a total of 223,000 people were eligible to receive social benefits, up 27.3% compared with the previous year. In the first three months of 1999, the number of social benefits recipients climbed further to 243,000 people. Long-term unemployed made up the biggest portion of social welfare recipients.
These figures were presented in a report on the social situation of Slovak citizens in 1998 presented on May 6 by Marián Mesiarik, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee for social affairs and housing.
In 1998, real household income in Slovakia grew only 1%, which is 8.5% slower that in the two previous years.