STA, 12 November 2020 - Employers advertised just over 13,600 job vacancies in the third quarter of the year, which is 2,500 more than in the second quarter, the Statistic Office said on Thursday. The number of occupied posts was up by more than 3,000. Meanwhile, the Employment Service has so far paid out EUR 312.4 million to help avoid layoffs.
The Statistics Office collected data on job vacancies at the end of August, just between both waves of the coronavirus crisis, when business activity picked up again.
Compared to the previous quarter, demand for new labour force was up in most activities, and was the highest in construction and manufacturing (almost 2,900 job vacancies in each), followed by retail, where almost 1,800 job vacancies were advertised.
Seasonally adjusted data show that there were little more than 766,000 occupied posts in Slovenia in the third quarter or 3,000 more than in the second.
In the second quarter, when some companies had to close their doors or reduce their activities for almost two months, the number of occupied posts dropped by almost 30,000.
However, thanks to the state subsidies for shorter working time, furlough and compensation for quarantine, 300,000 jobs were preserved, according to Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj.
In the third quarter, the number of occupied posts started rising again, except in manufacturing, financial and insurance services, and in other business activities.
In year-on-year comparison, the number of jobs dropped by almost 8,000.
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STA, 2 November 2020 - Job prospect projections in Slovenia for next year remain relatively encouraging despite the aggravated circumstances. A survey by the Employment Service suggests demand will exceed labour market supply in many professions, although the opposite is also possible for a long list of jobs.
The Occupations barometer survey, which includes assessments for 177 professions, suggests demand will for instance exceed supply in healthcare, construction, transport, hospitality, and information technology.
There is however also a number of groups where supply could be excessive, including biologists, botanists, zoologists, journalists, sociologists, anthropologists, cashiers, business secretaries, window dressers, menial workers, legal experts, agriculture, forestry and fishing experts, philosophers, historians, political scientists, translators, interpreters, language assistants and other linguists, secretaries, photographers, shop assistants, telemarketers, graphic and multimedia designers and tourism and travel agency employees.
Compared to last years' survey, the first list contains 16 professions less, the balanced demand and supply list has 10 professions more, while the excessive supply list has six professions more.
The Employment Service highlighted shop assistants as the group whose prospects have deteriorated the most, having moved from the excessive demand to the excessive supply list.
STA, 28 October 2020 - The Employers' Association (Združenje delodajalcev Slovenije - ZDS) called on the government on Wednesday to freeze the minimum wage for at least a year as part of the planned sixth anti-corona package. It also proposes a more flexible and simpler framework for teleworking and retiring upon meeting minimum retirement conditions.
"Employers are aware that each anti-corona package so far has brought upgrades of previous measures as well as new measures.
"Our proposals have been acknowledged during negotiations, however the Employers' Association has been noting an urgent need for certain labour market measures since March, measures that have not been included in the packages so far, and we expect them in the sixth anti-corona package."
The employers deem freezing the minimum wage a priority measure.
The new formula for setting the minimum wage, which enters into force in January, does not envisage coordinating the minimum wage with social partners; instead it excludes employers and trade unions from the procedure and puts the Labour Ministry in charge of determining the amount, said the association.
"The existing law has also never been discussed by the Economic and Social Council, it was adopted without social dialogue and without taking into account any of the arguments of businesses."
The Slovenian economy is in the middle of the gravest economic crisis in the past 70 years due to Covid-19, said the association, adding that the general consensus of opinion is that 2021 will not see recovery let alone results similar to those in 2019.
In such circumstances the economy cannot stand even minimum pressure in regard to labour costs, said the association, noting that any minimum wage raise, which would lead to pay raises in general, would be unimaginable during such a crisis.
A month ago, Sonja Šmuc, the director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), said that GZS projections showed the minimum wage will rise by at least 9% based on the new formula that puts it 20% above the minimum cost of living.
She warned that the last substantial rise in the minimum wage a decade ago caused a structural unemployment situation and had a long-lasting impact.
Šmuc argued now is not the time to experiment with a new formula and urged that the minimum wage be preserved at current levels at least in 2021.
The opposition Left, which drafted the new law, responded to today's call by the Employers' Association by saying that the organisation had overlooked the needs of workers and their families in following its own interests.
"The new concept of the minimum wage, which is being introduced gradually, is a guarantee that no one who works will live in poverty," said the Left, adding that certain representatives of the capital were trying to prevent the realisation of this concept.
The party also said that employers had received a significant financial aid from the state, which is why the cost of the minimum wage raise would be "a drop in the ocean" compared to those amounts.
Another organisation that appealed to the government for help today is the Chamber of Commerce (TZS).
The closure of shops during the epidemic has aggravated the situation of retailers, warned the chamber, calling for the sixth stimulus package to feature aid for companies whose operations have been restricted or suspended due to anti-corona restrictions.
Non-grocery retailers are among worst-hit business sectors, said the TZS, adding that those that are required to be closed or partially closed generate 30% of Slovenia's total retail income.
Such companies have been pushed to the limits of financial capacities and jobs have been jeopardised, pointed out the chamber, deeming government aid vital.
The TZS proposes Slovenia follow Austria's example of a fixed-cost subsidy scheme to help retailers come out on top of the coronavirus crisis.
STA, 25 September 2020 - The average monthly gross pay in Slovenia stood at EUR 1,851 in 2019, which is 4.1% more than the year before. The figure was higher than the national average for men and lower for women. A total of 64.4% employees got lower pay than the average, the Statistics Office announced this week.
Last year, the average monthly gross pay of men was 2.7% higher than the average and amounted to EUR 1,901. Among women, the figure was 3.3% lower than the average and totalled 1,790 euros.
For 63.2% of employees, the 2019 net pay was lower than the average. The monthly net pay median, which divides the population into two equal parts, was set at EUR 1,026.
The average monthly net pay was lower than EUR 790 for 25% of people, higher than EUR 1840 for 10% of people and higher than EUR 3505 for just 1%.
Last year, only employees in the central Osrednjeslovenska statistical region received an above-average monthly gross pay, which was 11.1% higher and amounted to EUR 2,056.
The lowest average pay was recorded in the Primorsko-Notranjska region, standing at EUR 1,598, down 13.7% on the average.
In 2019, the average monthly gross pay of persons with tertiary education in the public sector was roughly on par with the figure in the private sector.
The former received EUR 2,434 and the latter EUR 2,478. Persons in paid employment with this level of education in public corporations received much higher average monthly gross earnings though (EUR 2,812).
Among employees with secondary education, those employed in the public sector had a slightly higher average monthly gross pay than those employed in the private sector. The opposite was true for employees with only basic education.
In the public sector, the gap between the average monthly gross earnings of women and men was the smallest for persons with tertiary education - a 20.1% gap.
Meanwhile, men with secondary education in the public sector received a 25.9% higher average monthly gross pay than women, while men with only basic education received a 21.3% higher figure compared to women.
In the private sector, the pay gap between women and men in secondary education averaged 15.8% in favour of men. It was highest among employees with tertiary education - a 22.2% gap.
In public corporations, the average monthly gross pay of men with basic education was 28.6% higher compared to women, while this difference was slightly lower among persons with secondary or tertiary education - men received about 25% higher average monthly gross pay than women.
STA, 7 September 2020 - Slovenia has for years now been witnessing a rise of precarious forms of labour, which mostly exclude the right to paid sick leave, holiday, lunch and transport allowances. The Covid-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse and while NGOs, calling for systemic changes, are pessimistic, the Labour Ministry is planning some steps in the autumn.
Absent a formal definition of precarious work in Slovenia, estimates of the number of precarious workers vary. The Statistics Office, counting student workers, agency workers, those working short-time involuntarily, and the self-employed working for a single employer, put the figure at 39,000 in the first quarter this year.
The Movement for Dignified Work and Welfare Society estimates the figure much higher, at between 200,000 and 250,000, as it also factors in those on fixed-term contracts and the self-employed who work for several clients but are exposed to competition.
Speaking with the STA, Mirsad Begić of the ZSSS trade union confederation pointed the finger at state institutions and employers as regards the absence of a single definition, while he also took issue with the distinguishing between legal and illegal precarious labour arrangements.
He argued this took normal labour arrangements out of the picture and suggested precarious work was only about exploitation that is illegal. "Such a rendering of the concept is misleading, since people are often excessively exploited even in entirely legal forms of work."
Borut Brezar in Hana Radilovič of the the Movement for Dignified Work and Welfare Society moreover warned that the coronavirus crisis further aggravated the status of precarious workers, who often live below the poverty line.
A study conducted recently among the self-employed showed a third were feeling depressed while 14% even had suicidal thoughts after starting the path of self-employment.
Aid provided to the self-employed during the epidemic amounted to EUR 350 in basic income in March and EUR 700 each in April and May along with covered social contributions.
While calling for systemic measures, the union and movement are pessimistic as regards promises of political action. "It seems that it still holds in politics that changes are avoided by forming a taskforce," said Brezar and Radilovič, pointing out this had also happened without any results under the past two governments.
The movement is proposing a minimum hourly wage for precarious work forms and paid sick-leave for the self-employed, while it also promotes changes to public procurement rules, which often prioritise cheap bidders that exploit workers.
Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj told the STA he was aware of the negative impact of precarious work at the micro and macro levels.
"At the micro level we speak of negative effects in terms of the absence of minimal legal, economic and social security. At the macro level, it is the existence and maintenance of social security systems and tax policy that are affected," he said.
Calling for measures based on in-depth studies, he said he was looking forward to the results of a multidisciplinary analysis of precarious work, which will be presented in the autumn. "If needed, we will propose measures on the basis of this," he announced.
One perceived issue is the absence of collective organisation among precarious workers. Begić pointed out that a Trade Union of Precarious Workers had been formed almost four years ago but had so far failed to win proper recognition.
"There have been no tangible results due to the difficult situation of those affected, the tough conditions for unions in general and scarce resources," he said.
STA, 7 September 2020 - Ikea is looking for more than 300 staff for its first Slovenia store, due to open in Ljubljana later this year. Candidates for various positions in sales, logistics, customer relations and customer support, restaurants and other departments can apply for a job by the end of September.
According to the representatives of the Swedish furniture retailer, they began the process of mass employment in Slovenia today. All vacancies will be open until the end of September, followed by interviews and evaluations of registered candidates in October.
"We are pleased to be able to offer unlimited opportunities in a global company to candidates who are interested in working with us," said Cas Lachaert, market manager at Ikea Slovenia. They are looking for employees from a wide variety of backgrounds, while preferring those who believe in the company's values.
In the spring, when the Ljubljana unit hired about 20 staff, Ikea received about 200 applications for each job advertised.
The store is being built in the BTC City shopping district in Ljubljana. When the foundation stone was laid in October last year, it was announced the store would be built within a year. It will cover more than 31,000 square meters and offer almost 10,000 products.
Details of the open jobs at Ikea in Ljubljana
STA, 22 August 2020 - The gap between the minimum and average wages in Slovenia stood at 50.6% in 2019, which made the country the EU member state with the narrowest gap, data from Slovenia's Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) shows.
Since Slovenia introduced the minimum wage in 1995, legislation has been amended on several occasions changing the manner in which the minimum wage is set or raised.
In 1995-1997, it was generally harmonised in the same manner as the base pay in the private sector.
In the following period until 2003, a mechanism was introduced basing its increase not only on inflation but also on GDP growth in real terms.
In 2004-2005, the minimum wage was set in a nominal sum, and rose more than the average pay in the private sector but less than if pegged to GDP growth in real terms.
The anticipated inflation was meanwhile the only indicator to which the minimum wage was pegged in 2006-2009.
In 2010-2018, the minimum wage was pegged to inflation from the previous year, whereas pay and employment trends, and the general economic situation could also be taken into account.
Under the 2018 changes to the minimum wage law, the amount set as the minimum cost of living will also be taken into account in setting the minimum wage as of 2021.
Over the past 25 years there have been two major minimum wage raises, which have brought the minimum wage closer to the average salary.
The first kicked in in 2010, when it rose from EUR 593 gross to EUR 734, but companies allowed to complete the transition until the end of 2011.
The changes from 2018 brought the other major increase, to EUR 887 gross for 2019 and to EUR 940 for 2020.
Also, as of this year, all bonuses, for instance for night shifts or Sunday work, were excluded from the minimum wage.
They are now calculated not as part of the minimum wages but separately, which further raised the monthly pay of workers on the minimum wage.
As of next year, a new formula will kick in under which the minimum wage will have to exceeded the minimum cost of living by at least 20%, but not by more than 40%.
All these changes have resulted in a narrowing gap between the minimum and average wages; in 2000, the gap stood at 40.3%, at 45.4% in 2010 and at 50.6% last year.
What is more, minimum wage growth has exceeded productivity growth throughout the last decade.
Slovenia is one of 21 EU members states which have the minimum wage regulated in a law.
The ratio between the highest and lowest minimum wages in the EU-21 is roughly 1:7, or 1:3 if measured in purchasing power standards.
Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage in nominal terms and in purchasing power standards, with Bulgaria and Latvia at the bottom of the list, respectively.
In terms of purchasing power standards, Romania has seen the highest rise in the minimum wage in the past ten years.
Together with Portugal, Greece, Malta and Spain, Slovenia places in the middle group in terms of minimum wage growth. Last year, the minimum wage in the group ranged from EUR 700 to 1,050.
The ratio between minimum and average gross wages in the EU members which are also OECD members meanwhile ranged from 33.1% to 52%.
Here Slovenia topped the list with 50.6% in 2019, followed by France, while Greece had the widest gap to the average pay, IMAD said in its latest analysis of the minimum wage.
STA, 18 August 2020 - Slovenian home appliance manufacturer Gorenje is hiring some 600 temporary workers to cope with a record number of orders. Orders until the end of the year are by more than 30% higher for each month than last year, while a 15-20% increase is also expected for early 2021, the company told the STA on Tuesday.
Since 10 August, Gorenje has already hired 240 workers on a fixed-term contract, and is looking for another 350, to be employed by 1 September.
Some of the new workers will be hired until the end of October, but the majority until the end of the year, said the company, which is part of the Chinese group Hisense.
"While a rise in orders is typical of this time of year due to the seasonal nature of production, we have an absolute record number of orders for this period now."
When the coronavirus pandemic hit this spring, Gorenje's new owners were planning massive layoffs.
Orders for August to October then rose significantly and June was the first profitable month this year.
The changed situation prompted the Hisense Gorenje management to resort to soft methods to improve efficiency in production at Gorenje.
Due to the pandemic, Gorenje has introduced a number of measures to boost sales, cut costs and increase production efficiency.
STA, 5 August 2020 - The registered jobless total in Slovenia stood at 89,397 at the end of July, which is almost unchanged compared to June but due to unemployment growth in April and May the figure is 24.4% above that from July 2019, show data released by the Employment Service on Wednesday.
There were 84,717 persons registered as unemployed on average in the first seven months of the year, 12.2% more than in the same period last year.
The number of newly registered unemployed persons was 8,222 in July, up by 8.2% on June and by 32.4% in the year-on-year comparison.
Among the newly registered, 4,042 had seen their fixed term contracts expire, 490 were first time job seekers, 127 became unemployed because of receivership and 2,221 were long-term redundancies.
The new number of newly registered redundant persons was up by 0.9% compared to June and by 197.3% year on year.
Of the 8,202 persons that were removed from the unemployment registry, jobs were found by 6,487, a 95.7% increase year-on-year.
STA, 15 July 2020 - The average gross earnings in May amounted to EUR 1,892.31, down by 2.3% on April nominally and by 3.2% in real terms. The average net wage was EUR 1,244.44, a 1.7% and 2.6% decrease respectively on April, show data released by the Statistics Office on Wednesday.
Year-on-year, average gross earnings increased, in nominal terms by 9.5% and in real terms by 10.8%. The increase was largely the result of temporary stimulus measures related to the Covid-19 epidemic, which were also in place in April.
Compared to April, average gross earnings in May decreased in both sectors, in the private sector by 2.5% and in the public sector by 2.2%. In the institutional sector general government they decreased by 1.9%.
The highest average gross earnings for May were paid in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (EUR 2,589.33).
Compared to gross earnings for April, average gross earnings for May increased the most in public administration and defence, compulsory social security (by 7.0%) and decreased the most in accommodation and food service activities (by 8.0%).
If average gross earnings for May were calculated by the number of persons in paid employment on the basis of paid hours and not on the basis of the number of persons in paid employment, they would be higher than gross earnings for April in public administration and defence, compulsory social security by 4.8% and in accommodation and food service activities by 1.0%.
More detailed data can be found here