Prime Minister Rejects President’s Claims on Unemployment Numbers

Total Croatia News

On Monday, President Grabar-Kitarović said that the number of unemployed was declining mainly due to emigration and not new jobs.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that, despite the fact that people are leaving Croatia, today the country has 50,000 more employed persons than two years ago and 25,000 more than last year, reports on September 5, 2017.

Data from the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute show that the number of insured persons has been above 1.5 million for a few months now, which shows an increase in the number of employed persons, Plenković told reporters on Tuesday, commenting on the statement made by President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović on Monday that claims about a fall in the unemployment numbers were wrong because the reason was that people are leaving rural areas for urban centers and other countries.

“When it comes to data from the Croatian Employment Service, the number of people who are unemployed is somewhere around 171,000, depending on the time when those who have just graduated from schools and universities sent their registration to the Service,” said Plenković. He acknowledged that there was a problem of people leaving Croatia, but added that the relevant data showed that today there about 50,000 more employees than two years ago, and 25,000 more than last year, despite the fact that some people have indeed left Croatia.

Some people leave Croatia due to the possibilities and mobility which now exist, but the government has taken numerous measures, with two billion kunas being invested in employment programmes, measures and initiatives, said the Prime Minister. “The share of unemployed young people fell from 50 percent a few years ago to 34 percent. The fact is that the labour market situation is improving,” stated Plenković. He added that the government’s activities for increasing employment would be permanent and that the data they publish are reliable and accurate.

Speaking on Monday, the President said that Croatia had a record low number of unemployed, only about 171,000, “but this is not a reason to celebrate because the decline in unemployment is the consequence of the emigration of young and educated people and not a signal that the state is moving in the right direction.” This was the first time that such high-ranking official has openly admitted that the decline in the number of unemployed is not the result of an increase in the number of employees, but rather the consequence of emigration.

“It is becoming increasingly apparent to everyone that the decline in the number of unemployed is the result of more intensive emigration, with the largest share being among people aged between 25 and 39, which is the most active part of the population. This is also supported by the official data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, by which the proportion of those moving abroad at that age range was 38 percent, while in 2010 the share was 26.1 percent in the total number of emigrants. Since people from that age group make up a relatively large proportion of unemployed persons, it is clear that emigration has a significant impact on the total reduction in the number of unemployed,” said demographer Nenad Pokos.


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