As a result of the 66-month downward unemployment trend, the unemployment rate has hit a record low of 3.8 percent in the period October-December 2017. Accordingly, the number of jobless people has fallen by almost two-thirds, to some 175 thousand, over the past seven years. The number of people in employment has risen to 4 million 447 thousand, up by 738 thousand since the change of government in 2010.

The number of people employed in a private sector job has risen by more 88 thousand, while the number of public work employees and those working abroad declined by 39 thousand and 13 thousand, respectively, year-on-year, constituting decreases of 18 percent and 11 percent. Youth unemployment data also show significant improvement: the unemployment rate in the age group 15-24 years has decreased from almost 31 percent to 10.2 percent by now, while the corresponding employment rate has risen to 29.3 percent. This growth was also underpinned by the incentives of the Job Protection Action and the Youth Guarantee Programme, which provided assistance for more than 80 thousand people in this age category to find a job on the primary labour market.

The Government is aiming to activate the country’s labour reserves and increase the number of those inactive and unemployed people, mothers with small children and pensioners whose return to the labour market it can assist.

Besides that, the support of vocational and adult education systems must be continued, the number of participants in dual education must be increased and company training schemes must be made more flexible. The significant increase of the minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage coupled with the decrease of payroll taxes are to underpin companies’ efforts to boost their efficiency and thus contribute to competitiveness growth.

The main drivers of job growth have been labour market reforms, economic development policies, payroll tax cuts, minimum wage hikes and the positive economic U-turn of 2013.

(Ministry for National Economy)