The number of the registered unemployed registered dropped to 68.411 at the end of December 2007, down 9,892 year-on-year. The average number of registered jobless for 2007 wast 71,336, down 16.9% on 2006.
Employers reported 242,927 vacancies to the service last year, which is up 6.6% on the year before. Most of these (76.6%) were for fixed-term jobs. The share of such jobs stood at 79.7%, up one percent on 2006. The biggest demand for workforce was in the services (60.6% of vacancies).
Employment Service Marija Poglajen said that the latest trend is for employers to hire workers for a fixed-term and then, in two to three years, give them contracts for an indefinite period. This serves as a safeguard for employers.
While unemployment is in decline, structural unemployment is on the increase. Poglajen said that the lack of workers was still acute in construction, metal industry and machine construction, tourism and the hospitality sector as well as highly-skilled personnel, in particular medical staff.
The official also pointed to an increasing percentage of those who are difficult to employ; 53.7% of the jobless are women, 16.4% are under 26 years old, 50.8% are the long-term unemployed, 39.6% lack qualifications and 19.5% are first-time job seekers.
No major changes are expected this year; demand for workforce is expected to remain strong, while the number of first time job seekers is to decrease.
"There are at least two reasons: smaller inflow and the fact that we do not expect major lay-offs for the time being. Some developments may be expected at Mura, but we have no such information at this point," Poglajen said, referring to Slovenia's biggest clothes manufacturer.
The Employment Service expects 78,500 people to register this year, which would mark an increase of 6.7% on 2007. It also expects to find jobs for 50,000 unemployed, while 27,500 are to be eliminated from the registry due to inaction and the rest are to be transferred to other records.
The institution spend EUR 68m on active employment policy measures last year, a sum that is increase to EUR 72m this year.