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Unemployment in the 1st quarter of 2024
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Unemployment in the 1st quarter of 2024

Last update: 04.06.2024
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Publisher: Statistical Office of the SR
Topic: Demographic and social statistics
Domain: Labour
Publish Date: 04.06.2024

Unemployment dropped to historic lows in the first quarter at 5.6%

At the beginning of 2024, the number of people without work continued to decrease significantly, for the eleventh consecutive quarter in, currently there were less than 155 000 people without work. A year-on-year decrease in the number of unemployed was recorded in 7 SR regions, the only exception was Bratislavský kraj.

During the first quarter of 2024, 154.7 thousand people were unemployed in Slovakia, their number decreased by almost 9% year-on-year. Year-on-year drops in the number of the unemployed continued for the 11th consecutive quarter. After seasonal adjustment, the number of the unemployed1) decreased by 1.4% to 154.4 thousand persons compared to the previous quarter, according to the Labor Force Sample Survey (LFSS).2)

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The unemployment rate in Slovakia reached 5.6%. The rate expresses the share of the number of unemployed among the economically active persons and it is a reference indicator of unemployment in the SR.

Both decisive indicators of the labor market - the number of people without work and the unemployment rate have reached a historic lows since 1994 (however, in 2021, the EU survey methodology changed more significantly3)), the unemployment rate is also the lowest, while in almost 30 years of history such a low number has been recorded only twice (in the 4th quarter of 2019 and in the previous 4th quarter of 2023).

The majority, more than 66% of the unemployed (more than 102 000 people), were still long-term unemployed, i.e. people without work for 12 months or more. However, their number decreased again year-on-year, i.e. by 5.5 thousand persons (by 5.1%). A more dynamic year-on-year improvement was recorded by the short-term unemployed, whose number decreased by 9.6 thousand people year-on-year, which was a drop by 15.5%.

The lower number of the unemployed at the beginning of the year was evident in the majority of age groups, except for the youngest category under 24, with a year-on-year increase by 10%, and in the category of 50 to 54-year-olds, with an increase by almost 5%.

From the point of view of the economic activity of the last employer, the most people last worked in industry, where the number of unemployed people reached almost 25 000 people, and in trade, with more than 15 000 people. At the same time, industry also experienced the most significant year-on-year decrease in the number of the unemployed. Still, almost 35% of the unemployed (approximately 54 000 people) were people who had never worked before, this group also includes school graduates.

From a regional point of view, there was an overall improvement in the situation and a decrease in the number of unemployed in 7 out of SR 8 regions, except Bratislavský kraj with a very small increase in the number of people without work. The highest year-on-year relative decrease (by 18.1%) was achieved by Žilinský kraj and the highest absolute decrease (by 3.9 thousand persons) by Banskobystrický kraj. Trenčiansky kraj was the only region with a number of unemployed people below the threshold of 10 000 people.

In the year-on-year comparison, 7 SR regions recorded a decrease in the unemployment rate, in Bratislavský kraj it remained at the same level as a year ago. There was the most significant positive change in Banskobystrický kraj, where the unemployment rate decreased by 1.2 p. b. to a value of 7.5%. At the same time, the unemployment rate dropped below 4% in only five regions, higher rates remained only in Banskobystrický and also in Košický (9.6%) and Prešovský kraj (10.6%), which have long been ranked among the highest number and share of people without work.

  • 1) Unemployed persons according to the new European LFSS methodology from 2021 (IESS) are persons aged 15-74 who meet 3 criteria at the same time: they were without paid work in the reference week, they are able to start work within 2 weeks and are actively seeking work (full definition in the EC Regulation No. 2019/2240). Data relating to the sample were recalculated using the new integrated weights for the population adjusted for persons in collective facilities.
  • 2) The LFSS methodology is in compliance with the international definitions and recommendations of the International Labor Organization ILO and Eurostat.
  • 3) Defining the change in methodology, as it was from 1994 to 2021, why and how the methodology changed and how it currently works. From 1994 to 2020, the legislative basis for the LFSS was the Council regulation (EC) 577/98 on organization of a labor force sample survey in the Community. From 2021, the labor force sample survey has been fully aligned with the new EU legislation on Integrated European Social Statistics (IESS). In order to fully harmonize with the new EU legislation, several new definitions of variables have been adopted in the LFSS and the rules for respondents, data collection methodology, common standards for editing, weighting, transmission and data release were updated.
  • The most significant changes include the adjustment of the sampling frame before weighting on collective households (adding data per sample), switch to integrated weights at the level of the household and its members, innovate questionnaires, introduction of an upper limit for an employed person up to 89 years, exclusion of persons performing activation work from the employed persons, transfer of persons on parental leave from non-employed to employed.

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  • Statistical Office of the SR
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  • 840 05 Bratislava 45
  • Slovak Republic
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