More & More Third Country Nationals Employed in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

employed in croatia
Davor Puklavec/PIXSELL

March the 1st, 2024 – More third country nationals, particularly Filipino, Indian and Nepali nationals, are being employed in Croatia. More than half of newly registered individuals at HZMO (Croatian Pension Insurance Institute) came from outside the EU.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Poslovni Puls has reported that on average, more than half of the newly registered individuals at HZMO were from third countries (outside the EU) being employed in Croatia. On average, that figure stood at 66.7 thousand, which was a massive 46% higher than the number of third country nationals employed in Croatia was back in 2022.

Of course, due to the pronounced seasonality caused by movements in tourism that occurs in Croatia every single year, their number still exceeded 80,000 during the summer months of 2022. Although the largest number of third country nationals employed in Croatia still traditionally come from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (more than 30% of them in total), there’s a rapidly growing number of workers from distant Asian countries such as Nepal, India and the Philippines.

The growth of economic activity, the strong demand for work with the facilitation of the “import of foreign labour” and the relatively attractive geopolitical position of Croatia (especially after entering the Schengen area), are some of the factors that supported the relatively strong growth dynamics of the number of foreign workers employed in Croatia over more recent years,” RBA analysts commented.

“Considering that over 190,000 requests were received by the CES (Croatian Employment Service) last year, of which over 160 were resolved positively, we’re safe to assume that the number of foreign workers employed in Croatia is noticeably higher. This was further confirmed by MUP’s (Interior Ministry) statistics, according to which, only last year alone, 172.5 thousand residence and work permits were issued to foreigners, mostly in construction (68.9 thousand), tourism, hospitality and catering (45.9 thousand) and industry (24 thousand).

The number of foreign workers employed in Croatia at the end of 2023 stood at 117,549 or over 8% of the employees working in legal entities, which corroborates the estimate that over 10% of employees in legal entities refer to foreign workers and retirees who returned to the labour market,” concluded the RBA analysts.


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