Labour Centre: Unemployment kept falling in October

Number of unemployed lower, number of foreign workers higher.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme - Pavol Funtál)

The unemployment rate in Slovakia was lower in October by 9.08 percent, down by 0.34 percentage points month-on-month and by 1.9 p.p. year-on-year.

The number of foreigners working in Slovakia has also increased, by 10,000 in a year. The number of jobseekers available for work in October amounted to almost 247,000; down by almost 50,000 comparatively on the year, the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre (ÚPSVaR) reported on November 21.

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When people who were not able to take up jobs immediately were also included, the unemployment rate in October stood at 10.50 percent, down by 0.33 p.p. m-o-m and by 2.26 p.p. y-o-y.

The unemployment rates in all eight regions fell in October, most significantly in the Trnava Region by 0.44 p.p. Prešov Region had the highest jobless rate (14.18 percent), followed by Banská Bystrica Region (13.17 percent) and Košice Region (12.98 percent).

In terms of districts, unemployment dropped in 75 districts, rose in three and remained flat in one, the TASR newswire quoted ÚPSVaR. Rimavská Sobota District (Banská Bystrica Region) was the worst off at 25.26 percent, while Galanta District (Trnava region) was at the opposite end of the scale with 3.66 percent.

The better October figures were aided mostly by a lower influx of new unemployed persons into the register, Ľubomír Koršňák, macroeconomic analyst of the UniCredit bank wrote. Compared to previous months, it was better by 2,500 (after seasonal adjustment). The labour market itself also showed a slight slow-down in October – the number of the unemployed placed on the labour market was (after seasonal adjustment) the lowest in the past year, but the lower absorption of the unemployed by the job market was compensated by administrative factors as the number of unemployed scrapped from register increased y-o-y.

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Also, the statistics of vacancies proved the good condition of the labour market – a slight decrease against September can be ascribed to seasonal oscillations. Almost 8,000 more vacancies were reported compared to the same period of 2015.

Foreigners follow general trend

The statistics of employing foreigners also proves the increasing lack of labour, according to Koršňák. Compared to October 2015, the number of foreigners working in Slovakia increased almost by 10,000 to more than 34,000. As for nationality, Romanians are still leading the list, followed by Serbians, whose numbers have increased during the past year. Then are Slovak neighbours – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, with Ukraine following. Companies in western Slovakia employ the most foreigners (more than one third in the Bratislava Region). The Trnava region is leading in the number of foreigners employed in local enterprises, with almost half of the national increase happening there.

The outlook is optimistic, Koršňák opines, as the growing economy should be able to continue generating new jobs in the following months, and thus push the unemployment rate ever closer to historical minimums from 2008. On the break between the years, however, we will probably witness a traditional seasonally conditioned increase in unemployment connected to the finishing of seasonal work, especially in the agriculture and construction sectors, Koršňák summed up.

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