Unemployment in Slovakia keeps falling, and its rate is currently the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic stormed the country for the first time.
The Labour Ministry announced that the unemployment rate in May decreased for the fourth time in a row, standing at 6.35 percent. Compared to April, it decreased by 0.19 percentage points and up to 1.57 percentage points year-on-year.
There are 171,447 jobless people who are immediately available to take up a job, according to the latest figures. In a year, the number of jobless people fell by almost 46,000, which Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina) compared to the size of the town of Prievidza.
Speaking about the latest numbers, he added that he is optimistic about a decline in the number of long-term unemployed people.
The Institute of Social Policy has, however, emphasised that it is necessary to be cautious when projecting future labour market developments due to the war in Ukraine.
Inflation a problem
Still, the institute expects unemployment to continue to fall in June, citing the growing economic sentiment indicator, which suggests employers’ more optimistic prospects.
There are 82,157 jobs at people’s disposal at present, most in the Bratislava Region.
“However, in the context of increased uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine and rising inflation in Europe, a gradual tightening of monetary policy can be expected,” said the institute’s head Štefan Domonkos.
This step would affect economic activity and subsequently spill over into the labour market, he explained.
Army of long-term unemployed people
Compared to April, there were also fewer long-term unemployed people registered at the labour offices.
“The number of registered disadvantaged job seekers has been falling hand-in-hand with nationwide unemployment,” Domonkos said.
In his opinion, if the labour market continues to strengthen, this will also help disadvantaged jobseekers, including the long-term unemployed. The number of jobseekers registered for 12 months or more at these offices fell for the tenth month in a row - from a pandemic high of 96,669 in July 2021 to 85,552 in May this year.
The head of the central labour office, Karol Zimmer, believes a project focusing on the long-term unemployed currently in place has helped the group. Since October 2021, the central labour office has received 5,600 applications from employers that could result in the creation of 6,853 jobs.
Lower unemployment in most districts
Last month there were fewer jobless people in almost every district, including Rimavská Sobota. The town in south-central Slovakia had the highest unemployment rate in May, at 19.74 percent. In April, the rate exceeded 20 percent.
“In Slovakia, there is no longer a district with an unemployment rate higher than 20 percent,” the minister said.
At the same time, Slovakia sees more districts in which unemployment remains under 5 percent. Of 79 Slovak districts, there are currently 36 such districts.