Half a Million Working-Age Croats Not Employed, Not Studying

Lauren Simmonds

working-age croats

November the 20th, 2023 – Concerning numbers have emerged of the Croatian employment picture as it appears roughly half a million working-age Croats aren’t employed. They aren’t studying, either.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite the fact that unemployment across the Republic of Croatia has been decreasing quite significantly over more recent years, when we look at the share of employees among the working population, Croatia is unfortunately still among the worst in the entire EU.

The fact is that a significant percentage of the population doesn’t work, doesn’t bother to look for work, and doesn’t study. This worrisome information raises the question – why do so many working-age Croats not bother to find employment?

Luxury new buildings are their typical working spaces and offices, and the main goal is to help others in one of the most important decisions in their lives – buying an ideal home. That’s the job of real estate agents. Despite the fact that real estate is usually sold to customers before the first concrete has even been laid – it appears working-age Croats aren’t all that interested in working in this field, reports HRT.

More than half a million working-age Croats, that’s people between the ages of 15 and 64, are currently not working. They’re also not looking for a job, nor are they in some kind of formal education. This represents almost 22 percent of the domestic working population.

Romania, Italy and Greece are worse than Croatia

Romania, Italy and Greece are worse than Croatia in this respect. However, if we were to compare Croatia with the better nations on this scale, for example Sweden – more than 300 thousand people would still be employed, looking for a job or studying. Some are in this situation because of circumstances such as illness, disability or because they have to take care of family members, but there are plenty of working-age Croats who simply refuse work, and unjustifiably so.

10 thousand people were de-registered from the Croatian Employment Service because they refused to take a job

“Slightly more than 10,000 people have been de-registered for the reason that they aren’t actively looking for work, which means that they didn’t bother to respond to one of our invitations. They may have also refused gainful employment,” revealed Ivana Šimek, assistant director for the Labour Market and Employment Policy Sector of the Croatian Employment Service (CES).

In Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, 70% of people over 55 work

In the group of people without a job, who are not looking for one and aren’t in education, the majority are over 55 – both in Croatia and across the rest of the EU. The difference is that in Croatia, only about half of the people in that age group work, while, for example, in Germany, the Netherlands or the Czech Republic, more than 70% of people over the age of 55 remain employed.

The number of those who choose to continue to work even during their retirement is small, standing at only a little more than 2%. This is almost the lowest percentage in the EU. Namely, the average of the European Union is around 20%, and in the Scandinavian countries it goes up to a somewhat surprising 60%. Even today, there’s a huge share of those who continue working, but illegally.

At the moment, there are about 110,000 people registered at the Croatian Employment Office, and 15,000 jobs have been opened up. Regardless of age and employment, everyone and anyone can sign themselves up to a wide range of free education programmes to become more competitive on the ever-challenging labour market. There’s only one condition – people need will to study and the will to actually work.

In the coming years, there could be a shortage of as many as 400,000 workers in Croatia

The labour force problem faced by Croatia could be even more pronounced in the years to come. As the further reduction in the overall number of inhabitants is predicted in this country, there could be a shortage of as many as 400,000 workers before long, which Croatia have to replace by continuing to import labour. Currently, there are between 80 and 100 thousand foreign workers across Croatia, who are mostly employed in the tourism and construction sectors.


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