Unemployment keeps dropping, though at a slower pace

The number of jobs is not growing rapidly, and those who have not worked for longer than a year continue to form a huge part of the unemployed.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: Sme)

The number of jobless people continues falling in Slovakia. The unemployment rate calculated from the number of people registered with the labour offices ready to take jobs immediately amounted to 5.23 percent, down by 0.15 percentage points compared with the previous month.

In annual terms, the registered jobless rate fell by 0.91 percentage points, as stems from the data published by the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR).

“The positive trend in the reduction of the unemployed and increase in the number of people at work continues,” said Labour Minister Ján Richter, as quoted in a press release.

In absolute numbers, the number of the unemployed ready to take jobs immediately amounted to 143,339, down by 4,464 people compared with September and by 23,939 compared with October 2017.

“More than half of the October drop can be the result of seasonal factors,” Ľubomír Koršňák, analyst with UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, wrote in a memo.

However, the drop was slower when compared with last year and the labour market is to reach its peak, he added.

Regional differences in unemployment stand

The unemployment rate calculated from the total number of the unemployed amounted to 6.35 percent in October, down by 0.17 percentage points in monthly comparison and by 1 percentage points in annual comparison. The labour offices registered altogether 174,171 people, according to ÚPSVaR.

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The unemployment structure remains a big problem, with a high share of the unemployed possessing no working habits, Koršňák said.

Out of the overall number of the unemployed, about 68,700 have been without a job for longer than a year. However, the number keeps dropping as well, the Labour Ministry wrote in the press release.

Moreover, there remain certain regional differences.

“In the west, the number of jobs available prevails over the number of the unemployed in the labour market, but the amount of the workforce is sufficient in the south or in the east, at least statistically,” Koršňák wrote in a memo.

Despite this, the October unemployment rate was decreasing in both western and eastern Slovakia to a comparable extent, but unemployment fell slightly more in eastern Slovakia.

The peak is to come

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Currently, there are 83,000 jobs available, down by 1,600 compared with the previous month. The number of available jobs has decreased for the third month in a row.

Koršňák opined that the deceleration of the drop in unemployment is felt not only in western Slovakia but also in the east, and the labour market itself is stabilising.

“Although the number of available jobs in Slovakia is going on to hold its record levels, it is not growing,” Koršňák said, adding that in the Trnava and Nitra Regions, the jobs figure has declined year-on-year.

New jobs are not being created in central and eastern Slovakia, either.

“In spite of this, all the registered unemployed at the labour offices in the Trnava Region would not manage to take on the jobs available in the region,” the analyst added.

The situation is similar in Bratislava, Trenčín and Nitra.

“The growing economy should be able to generate new jobs, but mostly in the west of Slovakia,” Koršňák said, expecting that the demand for new workers will be decreasing.

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