92% of Slovakian companies report difficulties in recruiting adequately skilled employees, amid high youth unemployment
More than 9 out of 10 establishments with 10 or more employees in Slovakia report difficulties in finding suitable candidates for open positions, according to a recent Eurofound report on ‘Tackling labour shortages in EU Member States’. This is the highest proportion in the EU. The data from the European Company Survey 2019 shows Slovakia is followed by Romania (90%), Malta (88%), Czechia and Germany (both 85%), while rates are lowest in Slovenia (64%), Denmark and Greece (both 57%).
Despite these reported difficulties, Slovakia’s unmet demand for labour, as expressed by the job vacancy rate in the EU, is comparatively low for quarter 3 of 2020, with the fourth lowest vacancy rate at 0.8% and the EU average at 1.7%. With low labour shortages and average unemployment rates (6.8% in June 2021 compared to 7.1% EU average, Eurostat) in Slovakia, Eurofound research found the public debate and measures to address the labour shortages in the country focussed, on the one hand, on attracting labour, specifically easing access to workers from third countries. On the other hand, it has looked at enhancing the use of existing resources and retaining labour, particularly addressing skills mismatches through better alignment of training and labour market needs.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these issues can also not be disregarded. Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online survey found that existing inequalities are widening because of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on vulnerable groups. For example, young people aged 18–29 were most likely to have lost their job, with 17% now unemployed compared with 9% of those 30 or over. These data correspond to Eurostat youth unemployment figures, which indicate the EU average at 17% in June 2021. Yet, the figure for Slovakia’s young population stands at 23.1% (up from 20.1% in June of 2020).
The third round of the unique pan-EU survey was fielded in February and March 2021 and the analysis provided in the report and background data for the latest round is based on a sample of 46,800 responses, and an overall sample of 138,629 across all three rounds. It sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe following nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions.
The report points out that among joblessness, deteriorating mental health is of key concern for the youth. Almost two-thirds of people (64%) in the youngest age group (18–34 years) are at risk of depression, whereas this figure stands at 60% for the 35–49-year-olds and 53% for those 50 years and older. The survey also showed that as the pandemic and corresponding restrictions went on, depressive feelings increased, particularly among younger groups (+13 percentage points, from 21% in summer 2020 to 34% in spring 2021).
- Report: Tackling labour shortages in EU Member States
- Report: Living, working and COVID-19 (Update April 2021): Mental health and trust decline across EU as pandemic enters another year
- Data: Living, working and COVID-19
- Data: Quality of life during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Data: Democracy and trust during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Data: Working during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Data: Financial situation and security during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Data: Quality of public services during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Data: Support measures during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Data: Vaccinations during COVID-19 - Slovakia
- Database: COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch - Slovakia
- Survey: European Company Survey
- Country page: Slovakia
- Working paper: Slovakia: Working life in the COVID-19 pandemic 2020