ZAGREB, March 18, 2018 – One in three Croatian employers plans to increase the number of workers in the second quarter of this year, which may create over 100,000 jobs, a survey by the ManpowerGroup human resources company shows.
The company has been conducting employment outlook surveys for 55 years, currently in 44 countries. The survey in Croatia, carried out for the first time, covered 620 employers. Employers were asked what kind of changes they expected over the next three months compared with the present quarter.
Manpower’s executive for Croatia and Slovenia Nebojša Biškup said that 33% of the employers interviewed said they would increase the number of workers in the next quarter, 4% were going to reduce it, 57% were not planning any changes, while 6% did not know the answer.
Primarily owing to tourism, employment is expected to increase the most in western and southern Croatia, by 40% and 37% respectively. Central Croatia should see an increase of 25% and eastern Croatia of 27%. Broken down by sector, the number of workers in the tourist and restaurant trade is expected to rise by 48%, followed by the construction sector (+46%), manufacturing (+33%) and the public sector (+16%).
Biškup said that the results of the survey reflected a labour shortage in Croatia caused by labour emigration. He said that the Croatian economy had lost about 200,000 jobs in the last 10 to 15 years, adding that the number of jobseekers registered with the national employment service had decreased from 300,000 to 190,000 in recent years.
The question is whether the Croatian economy will be able to fill these vacancies, whose number in the second quarter of the year might exceed 100,000. “Unfortunately, it will not be able to fill these vacancies. The Croatian economy will not achieve the planned GDP growth simply because it will not have the necessary workforce,” Biškup said, stressing that in the long run Croatia lacked 100,000 workers.
He said that of the 190,000 people registered with the national employment service, 120,000 were permanently unemployable, which leaves only 70,000, many of whom lack the necessary skills to make them competitive.
Biškup said that the situation was further complicated by the business environment in Croatia, citing government fiscal and parafiscal policies, as well as the absence of immigration policy. “Higher GDP growth rates cannot be expected without a clear immigration policy because it will not be possible to fill the job vacancies.”
Biškup said that the government should work on fiscal policy measures to reduce wage taxes and contributions so that employers could offer more attractive jobs, and to use EU funding for increasing competencies. Biškup said that Manpower would try to offset the labour shortage in Croatia by increasing the competencies of the existing workforce and attracting labour from culturally similar EU member states such as Poland, where there is a great interest in moving to and working in Croatia.