12-01-2011 15:48 Croatia
Unemployment highest in six years
The number of unemployed Croatians rose to 319,845 last December, the highest it has been since April 2005.
The head of the Economic Research Department of Raiffeisen Consulting Zrinka Zivkovic-Matijevic said that the data is not surprising.
"The number of unemployed is nearing 320,000, so we can expect that the unemployment rate for December will measure 18.7 per cent," she added.
In addition to the growth in unemployment, the active working population is shrinking and the number of employed continues to fall due to retirement and loss of jobs, the portal Business writes.
"I expect the labour market to remain weak during the first half of this year, and the negative trends could peak by the end of the first or the beginning of the second trimester. The tourist season will usher in a slight recovery of the labour market, in part due to seasonal factors but also because of the low basis of comparison," Zivkovic-Matijevic explains.
It is difficult, however, to expect a real recovery before the end of 2011, she warned.
"The labour market will be one of the weakest points of the Croatian economy throught the year because it will directly affect the citizen's standard of living and the level of consumer pessimism, which will impede the recovery of domestic consumption," she said.
Source: Croatian Times