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NGO says Slovakia’s real unemployment rate is 14%

According to the Slovak Governance Institute (SGI), an NGO, the real unemployment rate in Slovakia stands at around 14 percent and not 11.8 percent as reported by the office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR), said SGI chairman Miroslav Beblavý at a press conference on August 6,the TASR newswire wrote.

According to the Slovak Governance Institute (SGI), an NGO, the real unemployment rate in Slovakia stands at around 14 percent and not 11.8 percent as reported by the office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR), said SGI chairman Miroslav Beblavý at a press conference on August 6,the TASR newswire wrote.

“The situation is much worse than is reported, so the need for the government to adopt measures is much more urgent,” Beblavy stressed, as reported by TASR.

The Institute didn't accuse the Government of manipulating the data, but did reproach it for being inactive in dealing with the high unemployment rate.

“They [the government] haven't yet introduced any really effective measures, and the support for social enterprises, which has been the most noteworthy step so far, is an extremely expensive way of creating new jobs,” said Beblavý to TASR, adding that according to his organisation's calculations, each job post created by a social enterprise is subsidised by approximately €66,400.

According to ÚPSVaR, the number of Slovaks without a job has risen to around 313,000, but SGI thinks the number is actually around 370,000, as that figure includes two groups of people that are not included into ÚPSVaR's statistics.

The first group is made up of people who are registered with job centres but aren't available for work due to various reasons. The second one is comprised of people who aren't registered at job centres at all.

“This doesn't make them any less unemployed,” stated Beblavý. One way to bypass registration at a job centre is to claim incapacity benefit, and the number of people doing so has risen considerably since the crisis hit the country, SGI noted. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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