Croatian Media Adds Unemployment Statistics to COVID-19 Updates

Total Croatia News


March 26, 2020 – While the world watches the rise in number of COVID-19 cases, there is another number which is growing even quicker – unemployment statistics. 

We are all in this together it seems. As a record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefit this week, one wonders what is coming next and just how bad this is going to get. 

But while several countries have announced huge aid packages in order to support business, in one small country on the Adriatic, things are a little different.

Croatia is dealing with the coronavirus like every other country, and its response after a slow start has been commendable. At time of writing, there are 495 cases, with the second death reported earlier today. On top of this threat, a series of earthquakes just north of the capital Zagreb brought additional chaos. 

And then there are the economic realities, and the Croatian government’s response which so enraged the private sector which feeds Croatia’s bloated and inefficient public sector that a Facebook group, Glas Poduzetnika (Voice of Entrepreneurs) quickly got thousands of fans, frustrated business people from the private sector. 


Aco Momcilovic, former HR of Rimac Automobili and now CEO of Future HR, wrote a piece on behalf on the Glas Poduzetnika group for TCN called In Media Res: The Voice of the Entrepreneur, in which he outlined the precarious state of many of Croatia’s private enterprise. A survey of the group showed that 59% of businesses had cash reserves of 5,000 kuna or less (650 euro), and another 24% no more than 20,000 kuna (2,600 euro). 


And 93% of companies said they could not last more than 3 months on existing reserves with this crisis, 50% no more than a month. 

The response from the government prompted the group to write to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, demanding the dismissal of Minister of Economy, Darko Horvat, and the immediate establishment of a Crisis Committee for the Economy. You can read their press release here – Croatia Faces 300,000 Layoffs in 3 Months: Voice of Entrepreneurs.


(5 Key Demands from Voice of Entrepreneurs)

My understanding is that members of the private sector met with Minister Horvat today, and there will be more information on that meeting tomorrow. 


But the job losses have already started. And there is no better way of keeping the issue in the public eye than having a daily update on the job losses. Leading Croatian portal has done just that, today adding an unemployment statistics counter (Nezaposleni) to the coronavirus numbers on its homepage. 


The economic fallout of this crisis is of equal concern to people here as the health threat, even more so according to one question in the first-ever TCN survey (you can see results to the other questions here). 

As the authorities work tirelessly to flatten the COVID-19 curve, time will tell whether or not they will do the same for the unemployment statistics curve, but now both can be monitored side by side. 

To follow the latest from the coronavirus crisis, check out the TCN dedicated section


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