LMI of SI0


Slovenia is a Central European country, bordering Austria (to the north), Italy (to the west), Hungary (to the northeast) and Croatia (to the east and south). It has a surface area of 20 273 km2 and a population of 2 076 595.

The country is divided into two cohesion regions. The East Slovenia cohesion region comprises eight statistical regions (Pomurska, Primorsko-Notranjska, Podravska, Posavska, Zasavska, Koroška, Savinjska and South-East Slovenia), while the West Slovenia cohesion region comprises four statistical regions (Central Slovenia, Gorenjska, Goriška and Obalno-Kraška). They differ from each other in terms of geographical characteristics and levels of economic development. The regions in the western part of the country are the most developed and are mainly service-oriented, while the eastern part of the country is less developed, more sparsely populated, and more oriented towards farming and industrial activity.

Central Slovenia, where the state capital is located, is the strongest region in terms of economic development, as well as being the administrative, economic, cultural and scientific centre of the country. As many as a third of all Slovenian companies are situated in Central Slovenia. Many residents from other regions commute to work in this region, including from Zasavska; according to figures from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS), the percentage of the workforce in employment commuting from Zasavska to work in another region is the highest in the country. The majority of people in Central Slovenia are employed in public administration and defence, compulsory social security activities, education, healthcare, trade, hospitality and transport. Central Slovenia stands out in comparison with other regions because of the low share of people employed in industry and the high share employed in professional, scientific, technical and other business activities. The region also has the highest salaries in the country.

The Pomurska region, which is situated in the northeast of the country, differs significantly from Central Slovenia in terms of level of development. This region is predominantly focused on agriculture, as well as on wellness and spa tourism. Its industrial enterprises are mostly engaged in the food-processing and metalworking industries, and civil engineering is more prominent there than in other regions. The region has the highest registered unemployment rate and the lowest employment rate in the country.

Besides the Pomurska region, the East Slovenia cohesion region includes the second largest region in Slovenia: Podravska, which borders Austria (Steiermark) to the north and Croatia to the south. The region is home to many enterprises active in manufacturing, and the service sector has undergone development. The region’s development strengths include its geostrategic position, industrial tradition, transport infrastructure development, and integration of the research infrastructure of the University of Maribor and other institutions of learning into the business sector. However, the region still has a very low employment rate.

According to statistics, Gorenjska is the region with the highest employment rate and the lowest registered unemployment rate. With its predominately Alpine location, it is one of Slovenia’s tourism-focused regions; however, the highest employment rate by sector is in manufacturing, followed by trade, hospitality and transport.

Despite the increasing part being occupied by the service industry, industrial enterprises remain a major source of employment in Slovenia. In addition to manufacturing industries, especially metalworking and the production of electrical appliances, rubber and plastic products, motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, and other machinery and equipment, the main sectors and sources of employment in the country are trade, education, healthcare and social security activities, construction, professional, scientific and technical activities, transport and storage. The largest employers in the country are: Mercator, d.d., Ljubljana, Pošta Slovenije, d.o.o., Maribor, Krka, d.d., Novo mesto, Gorenje, d.o.o., Velenje, Lek, d.d., Ljubljana, Adecco H.R., d.o.o., Ljubljana, Engrotuš, d.o.o. Celje, Revoz, d.d. Novo mesto, Telekom Slovenije, d.d. Ljubljana, SŽ – Infrastruktura d.o.o., Ljubljana, SŽ-VIT d.o.o., Ljubljana, Unior, d.d., Zreče,  LTH Castings, d.o.o., Škofja Loka, HIT, d.d., Nova Gorica, Mahle Electric Drives Slovenija, d.o.o., Šempeter pri Gorici and Hella Saturnus Slovenija d.o.o., Ljubljana.

Slovenia’s economic performance since 2014 has been good, with the standout year being 2017, when the economic growth rate was 4.9 % (SURS figures).  Economic growth was slightly more modest in 2018 (4.5 %), although the trend was upward in the early months of 2018. The increase in exports, as well as the accelerated growth in private consumption and investment, particularly in construction, is having an impact on the rise in GDP.

The increase in economic activity and optimism following the crisis has boosted employment, and unemployment has begun to fall sharply as a result. There are fewer redundant workers and workers whose temporary employment has come to an end, and fewer young, first-time jobseekers. Therefore, employers are faced with an increasing shortage of qualified workers.

The following sectors saw the greatest increase in workforce in February compared to the same month last year: construction, transport and storage, information and communications, and manufacturing.

In February 2019, the economically active workforce amounted to 884 685, which was 0.4 % more than in January and 3.3 % more than in February 2018. At the end of March 2019, the number of registered unemployed persons was 76 533, which was 5.2 % fewer than in February and 5.8 % fewer than in March 2018.

A comparison between the unemployment structure between March 2018 and March 2019 shows that the unemployment rate for women rose to 50.5 % in the course of 12 months. There were decreases in the number of long-term redundant workers or persons unemployed because of bankruptcy (down to 16.9 %), first-time jobseekers (down to 15.5 %), and the long-term unemployed (down to 50.6 %). In terms of age groups, the unemployment rate of persons aged between 30 and 39 increased (to 21.7 %), as did the unemployment rate of those aged between 40 and 49 (to 19.3 %). By contrast, the unemployment rate of persons aged between 15 and 29 fell (to 19 %), as did the rate for those aged 50 or over (to 40 %). By level of education, only the unemployment rate for persons with primary-school education increased (to 31.8 %), while the unemployment rate for those with vocational secondary education fell to 26.1 %, the unemployment rate for those with secondary technical and general education fell to 25.3 % and the unemployment rate for those with tertiary education fell to 16.7 %.

In February 2019, the national registered unemployment rate was 8.4 %, which was 0.7 percentage points down on the February 2018 figure. The lowest registered unemployment rate was in the Gorenjska region (5.6 %), followed by Goriška (5.9 %), Primorsko-Notranjska (6.9 %), Central Slovenia (7.5 %), South-East Slovenia (7.8 %), Koroška (7.8 %), and Obalno-Kraška (8.2 %). The following regions had unemployment rates above the national rate: Zasavska (9.1 %), Savinjska (9.3 %), Posavska (9.5 %), Podravska (9.9 %) and Pomurska (13.9 %).

According to internationally comparable figures from the Labour Force Survey, Slovenia’s survey unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 4.4 %. The activity rate of the population was 58.6 % and the employment rate was 56 %. The employment rate increased compared to the same quarter in 2017, while the activity rate and the unemployment rate, which had still been 5.8 % a year before, declined.


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