Jobless Figure Falls Below 70,000; Govt. Proposes Raising Unemployment Benefit, Stricter Conditions

By , 03 Oct 2019, 15:15 PM Politics
Jobless Figure Falls Below 70,000; Govt. Proposes Raising Unemployment Benefit, Stricter Conditions иммиграция-в-канаду. public domain

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STA, 3 October 2019 - Slovenia's joblessness keeps declining with the latest official data putting the number of registered unemployed to 69,834 in September, down 2.4% from August and down 5.3% from September 2018.

The latest total is close to the record-low level registered in September 2008 when 59,303 were registered as being out of a job.

The Employment Service registered 5,752 newly unemployed people in September, which is 34.8% more than in August and 0.3% more than in September last year.

Most (2,917) saw their fixed-term job contracts expire; 981 just entered the job market and 741 were made redundant.

Out of the 7,462 unemployed who were removed from the unemployment roll, 5,420 got a job or became self-employed. The latter figure is 84.6% higher than in August but 7.4% lower year-on-year.

In the first three quarters of the year, an average 74,448 were registered as being out of a job, which is 5.7% fewer than in the same period a year ago.

The number of the newly unemployed in the nine months decreased by 4.1% from the same period a year ago. The number of registered first-time job seekers dropped by 16.4% and the number of those whose fixed-term jobs expired fell by 6.5%, whereas the number of those who were made redundant rose by 10.6%.

Of the 60,080 removed from the unemployment register, 44,530 found a job, which marks a decline of 9.3% year-on-year.

Employers registered 13,726 vacancies in September, 7.6% more than in August, but 5.2% fewer than in September last year. Most openings were for simple jobs in manufacturing.

The most recent data on the registered unemployment rate are available for July; at that month the rate was 7.4%, up 0.1 percentage point from June and down 0.6 points year-on-year.

Statistics Office data for July put the number of people in employment at 893,760, which is 0.4% fewer than the month before and 2.5% more than a year ago.

Govt proposes increase of unemployment benefit, stiffens conditions, including language tests

STA, 3 October 2019 - The government has proposed changes to the labour market regulation act that increase the minimum monthly unemployment benefit while stiffening entitlement conditions. The changes also introduce compulsory Slovenian language classes for non-Slovenian EU citizens registered as unemployed and a basic language skill requirement for the rest.

The minimum monthly unemployment benefit is being raised from EUR 350 gross to EUR 530 gross to equalise it with the basic minimum income for single-person households, which currently stands at EUR 402 net.

On the other hand, the minimum insurance period in 24 months prior to unemployment guaranteeing benefits would be extended from 9 to 10 months.

Also, the maximum duration of unemployment benefit entitlement for those over 53 and with an insurance period of at least 25 years is being set at 19 months and for those older than 58 with an insurance period of over 28 years at 25 months.

Currently, those over 50 and with a 25-year insurance period are entitled to benefits for 19 months and those over 55 and with 25 years for 25 months.

What is more, those meeting conditions for occupational and regular retirement age retirement will no longer be able to claim the unemployment benefit.

The government is on the other scrapping the financial penalisation of those failing to register as unemployed within three days after being laid off. Presently, the benefit in such cases is only set at 60% as opposed to 80% of the wage average.

Stricter penalising is meanwhile envisaged for those gravely violating the job search requirements of the Employment Service. One grave violation, for instance refusing to partake in an active employment policy programme or rejecting a suitable job, will be enough to get job seekers erased from the registry, while this will also be possible with two minor violations as is the case presently.

Also envisaged are changes for pensioners who perform occasional work. While they can presently work up to 60 hours in a month, an exception is being added that allows up to 90 hours, provided this only happens three times in 12 months and does not amount to more than 720 hours in total.

Foreigners wishing to be registered as unemployed also face stricter conditions. Third-country citizens will need to have at least A1 level command of the Slovenian language to register, while unemployed non-Slovenian EU citizens, citizens of Switzerland and European Economic Area members will have to attend Slovenian language classes and take a basic language skill exam while they are registered.

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