How Has Crisis Affected Croatian Employment in Different Sectors?

Lauren Simmonds

December the 29th, 2020 – The coronavirus crisis has affected just about everything, causing a tremendous economic crisis, but just how has Croatian employment in various different sectors been affected by its iron grip?

As Marina Klepo/Novac writes, the impact of the ongoing crisis on young people is very serious, despite measures to preserve jobs remaining in place, the unemployment rate could still increase in the coming months, according to the European Commission (EC) in its latest quarterly report on Employment and Social Trends.

The coronavirus crisis has led to an “unprecedented loss of income from work”, and the effect has been particularly felt by those already disadvantaged on the labour market, such as young people, temporary workers and, in some countries, women.

Increased inequalities

The decline in income ranged from more than 10 percent in Croatia to less than two percent in Latvia and Hungary. The cause of these large differences between the countries of the European Union is the different structure of their economies, meaning that the largest decline in income was experienced by countries with a larger share in the tourism-related sector, either due to job loss, working less hours or full on unemployment.

As such, employees in food preparation and accommodation lost 20 percent of their income, in the field of culture and entertainment, 14 percent, in construction nine percent, in trade about six percent and about five percent in the transport and storage sector. The ongoing pandemic has only exacerbated previous inequalities even more and hit more vulnerable groups of employees, meaning that in some countries, the gap between lower and better paid workers has only increased.

Government measures across various member states have alleviated the problem a little bit, and the European Commission’s analysis shows that some countries, such as Croatia and France, have been more effective in protecting low-paid workers from losing their income than those with middle and higher incomes. When it comes to the state of Croatian employment, however, things could still go even further south.

Nicolas Schmit, the EC’s Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, said the Commission was using all available means to provide support to member states, especially through the SURE instrument, which supports national part-time programmes. In addition, the extension of the Youth Guarantee programme will support young people “in skills development and work experience, especially in areas relevant to the green and digital transition”.

The Youth Guarantee is a programme introduced back in 2014 with the aim that all those under 25 receive a quality job offer, the possibility of further education, apprenticeships and internships. On the 1st of July this year, the Commission proposed strengthening the programme to prevent rising unemployment, and the Council unanimously adopted the changes on the 30th of October. In addition to now placing greater emphasis on training in areas of the green and digital transition, the new measures include more support for disadvantaged youth, and the age limit has been raised to 29 years of age.

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